Iran is sending at least 200 tanks to its border with Armenia and Azerbaijan
TEHRAN, (BM) – The situation in the conflict between Armenia, Azerbaijan and the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh remains unchanged, as hostilities continue to be intense between Armenians and Azeris, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
In the last hours of yesterday [Sunday, October 4 – ed.], according to a number of Iranian media, Tehran has taken action to protect its border by sending heavy armored combat equipment to the north – at least 200 Iranian tanks. Military analysts say it is unusual for such a large number of tanks to be sent solely to guard border and territorial integrity, and many speculate that many of these tanks will be sent to Armenia to help Yerevan, if the Armenian government requests it.
So far, we cannot confirm the truth of the facts provided by the Iranian media, as third sources have not commented on the situation. It should be recalled, however, that in the wake of the conflict, as we and other media commented at the time, Tehran assisted the Armenian defense by sending nearly 30 tanks and just under 20 artillery weapon units. So, the logic for Tehran to continue supporting Armenia is there and it is quite normal if the information about the sending of 200 tanks is confirmed.
We remind you that Iran has officially warned, above all, Azerbaijan not to try to bring the conflict to Iranian territory, and any attempt by Baku to violate the country’s territorial integrity will be costly to Azerbaijan. Last week, a number of sources claimed that Iran had even shot down an Azerbaijani fighter jet [according to some helicopters – ed.] because the Azerbaijani aircraft had violated Iranian airspace.
Since the beginning of the conflict, Iran has been sending clear messages that the country will remain neutral and will not engage in hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but given that it supplies equipment to Armenians and is ready to provide hundreds of armored fighting vehicles to Yerevan, the balance of power may change and at some point it is possible that Tehran will also intervene, indirectly, as Turkey does, for example.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27, active clashes are taking place in the disputed territory. Martial law was introduced in Azerbaijan and Armenia, and mobilization was announced. Both sides reported killed and wounded, including civilians. In Baku, they announced the control of several Karabakh villages and strategic heights. Yerevan also reports about the shelling of the territory of Armenia.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have been in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh since February 1988, when the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan SSR.
During the armed conflict in 1992-1994, the Azerbaijani side lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven areas adjacent to it. Since 1992, negotiations have been conducted within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group on a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is led by co-chairs – Russia, USA and France.
In 1994, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, through the mediation of Russia, signed the Bishkek Armistice Protocol. At the same time, military operations did not stop there, which periodically renewed.
The most significant exacerbation of the conflict was the four-day war of 2016. Then hundreds of soldiers on both sides became victims.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during a meeting with the President of Azerbaijan last year, called for a rhetoric that would go against the fundamental principles endorsed by both sides and enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act when resolving the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh.
At the same time, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted that much more needs to be done to achieve a long-term political settlement.
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