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AZERBAIJAN IS IN PANIC
[ARM]     [RUS]     [ENG]

AZERBAIJAN IS IN PANIC

Vahram ATANESYAN

 The International authoritative media inform that the US naval forces’ aircraft carrier “Abraham Lincoln” has crossed the Suez Canal and took its direction to the waters of the Persian Gulf. It is known, that Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, if the US continues sanctions against them.In response to American naval movements, Iran's Revolution Guard Corps representative announced that America is expected to be “hit on the head”. Earlier during the developments of the situation around Iran, the Azerbaijani side was noticeably livelier. The press even discussed the issue of Baku's assistance to the United States. Parliamentarian Gudret Hasanguliev has also expressed a viewpoint that the time has come for Azerbaijan to change its foreign policy and be guided by Euro-Atlantic security structures. Azerbaijan was deeply impressed that the United States and Israel would not take concrete military steps against Iran, but would use the so-called hybrid war policy, which would lead to separatist movements of the ethnic Turks living in the north of Iran, and Azerbaijan’s vision of reunion would become quite possible. Recent developments around Iran, which do not exclude the scenario of direct use of force by the USA, have caused panic moods within the Azerbaijani expert community. Apparently, the moment of political seriousness comes to Baku. It is not a secret, and all analysts obviously say that Azerbaijan has consistently turned into an anti-Iranian propaganda over the past decade, in which the Israeli special services are acting. This is mainly due to the close Israeli-Azerbaijani relations. Naturally, this is not a secret for the Iranian side, and Tehran shows its dissatisfaction from time to time. Today the Azerbaijani expert community seriously discusses one question: What situation can be created if the United States uses force against Iran? One of the most probable options is that Iran will immediately take military actions against Azerbaijan in order to secure its back from the north. The scenario that Iranian naval forces will cross the water border in the Caspian Sea and will approach Baku and the ground forces will attack the southern regions of Azerbaijan seems probable. The situation for Azerbaijan can turn tragically. Azerbaijani experts think it quite natural that in case of a military conflict with Iran, the possibility of further advancement of Armenian forces on the Karabakh frontline will be sharply increased. Analysts advise official Baku to note that in the case of US-Iran military confrontation, the possible targets can be Azerbaijan's oil and gas infrastructures, which are fully managed by western corporations. The press recommends that quick consultations should be launched with Turkey to find out what position official Ankara would be taking in case if the United States uses force against Iran. There is a task to reach military-political coordination of further steps with Turkey. Of course, the Iran-US military confrontation will be a tragedy for the Middle East and South Caucasus at all. But the problem in Azerbaijan is discussed in obvious panic. Apparently, the anti-Iranian policy of the past decade prompts Baku analysts to a clear conclusion that Iran will not miss the chance of revenge. It is obvious that the Azerbaijani diplomacy is facing a major dialogue with Tehran to achieve the dispelling of the suspicions of the Iranian side. On the other hand, however, it seems that the United States and Israel make serious preconditions to Baku. It aggravates the concerns of the Azerbaijani expert community. The newspapers write that Baku can make a formal statement about not providing its territory to the anti-Iranian coalition; the problem is how much it will inspire faith in the Iranian side. It is obvious that in recent years Azerbaijan has deepened cooperation with the anti-Iranian forces so that Tehran will hardly believe in Baku's diplomatic assurances. The major political question is whether Iran and the USA would collide. But there is no suspicion that the military-political panic of Iran's possible revenge would be felt in Azerbaijan for a long time. It will definitely limit Azerbaijan's regional ambitions.

Vahram ATANESYAN