Selçuk Çolakoğlu: Ankara does not sit quietly if any foreign forces try to occupy Azerbaijan
Selçuk Çolakoğlu: Ankara does not sit quietly if any foreign forces try to occupy Azerbaijan
SHARE: READ: 287     12:15     03 November 2022    
B aku Tribune presents an interview with Prof.Dr. Selçuk Çolakoğlu, Director Turkish Center for Asia Pacific Studies. - Recently, Iran conducted military exercises a few tens of meters from the border of Azerbaijan - the goal is to intimidate Azerbaijan. The other day, when the Turkish President arrived in Zangilan, President Ilham Aliyev said at a press meeting: “Turkish-Azerbaijani unity is a very important factor in the region. This is a factor of peace and stability. But at the same time, if someone wants to take unfair actions against us again, they should seriously consider this factor.” Do you think Iran takes this factor into account when it conducts such provocative military exercises? - Azerbaijani victory over Armenia during the 2020 Second Karabakh War has changed the regional balances in the Southern Caucasus dramatically. Azerbaijan has restored order in most of its territories from the Armenian occupation. Russia`s relatively neutral stance has continued so far. After the Russian failure of the full occupation of Ukraine in 2022, Moscow has further ignored its security guarantee to Yerevan. A stronger Azerbaijan is not only a challenge for Armenia but also for Iran because of the large Azerbaijani minority in the country. Developing a strong Turkic alliance between Turkey and Azerbaijan is also disturbing Iran. Moreover, a strong Azerbaijani-Israeli partnership is considered another threat by Tehran. The Iranian military drill on the border of Azerbaijan is a diplomatic warning to Baku not to go further in the region. This warning also implies Iranian objection to the Zangezur corridor, which aims to connect mainland Azerbaijan to Nakhchivan through Armenian territory. - Has Iran calculated all possible risks in case of aggravation of relations with Azerbaijan? - It is not likely to expect an Iranian military operation against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a critical energy provider to European countries in the age of the Russia-Ukraine war. Furthermore, Turkey has full security and military support for Azerbaijan. Ankara does not sit quietly if any foreign forces try to occupy Azerbaijan. - Now the topic is being actively discussed that Iran can supply drones to Armenia. What do you think about this? Will Iran go for it? In what cases is this possible? Iranian arms delivery including drones to Armenia has become a viable scenario. Tehran will likely keep regional balances in favor of itself with arms delivery to Yerevan. Iran likely wants to use potential arms delivery to Armenia as a bargaining chip to halt Turkish and Israeli military supplies to Azerbaijan. Interviewed by Seymur Mammadov
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