Azerbaijan wants to create a corridor to Nakhichevan that will “not be under Armenia’s jurisdiction,” in an effort to create an energy-trade route from the Caspian Sea to Turkey, a top Iranian official warned on Tuesday.
Javad Hedayati, the Director General of Iran’s Transportation, told the Iranian Labor News Agency that his country should brace itself because it is becoming less likely that the current situation can be maintained.
“Apparently, Azerbaijan wants to have a corridor toward Nakhchivan out of Armenian’s control to keep its connection with Nakhchivan without any obstacle and long-term guarantee and it seeks to establish an energy-trade corridor directly from the Caspian Sea to Turkey with the coordination of its allies,” ILNA quoted Hedayati as saying.
“We should pay close attention since the current situation will unlikely be maintained and continued and because of that we should be ready for any situation,” he added.
Since the September 13 attack on Armenia’s sovereign territory by Azerbaijan, Iran has become more vocal in expressing its opposition to any changes to Armenia’s borders and has emerged as a staunch advocate of Armenia’s territorial integrity.
While Yerevan has maintained its willingness to negotiate the opening of transport links with Azerbaijan, it has unequivocally opposed the creation of such a link through Armenia’s territory. Russia also has voiced its opposition to this scheme, with its Deputy Prime Minister Alexi Overchuk last week essentially supporting Armenia on the matter.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in no uncertain terms, warned the presidents of Turkey and Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, about any efforts to alter the regional borders or territorial integrity of the countries when the two leaders visited Iran earlier this year.
Iran’s president and foreign minister also voiced their opposition to the scheme and cited Khamenei’s insistence on the matter.
Addressing the UN Security Council meeting after Azerbaijan’s attack on Armenia in September, Armenia Ambassador to the UN Mher Margaryan said that there are credible reports that Azerbaijan is planning yet another military offensive by widening the geography of the aggression against Armenia, including from the direction of Nakhijevan, to realize the unlawful ambitions of Azerbaijan toward establishing an extraterritorial corridor through the sovereign territory of Armenia.