Daily Memo: Iran Nervously Watches Nagorno-Karabakh

Azerbaijani troops are reportedly gathering near the Iranian border.

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Fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh risks drawing in others. Azerbaijani forces are gathering near the Iranian border in preparation for an offensive, according to an Armenian Defense Ministry representative. He said Azerbaijan hopes to provoke forces from the mostly ethnically Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh into firing at the massing troops, endangering Iran in the process. In the meantime, fighting continues along the Line of Contact in the disputed region, and Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry threatened to retaliate using “weapons with great destructive power” if Armenia deploys Iskander short-range ballistic missiles against it. On Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an interview that his government and Nagorno-Karabakh were prepared to make concessions if Azerbaijan did the same. Also on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, to express his government’s concern and hope for a swift, peaceful resolution. Aliyev reportedly said Azerbaijan’s troops would reoccupy captured land near the border and establish border infrastructure there. The commander of the Iranian Border Guards also said the guards were “vigilant” and had been “moved into the necessary formation.” Finally, there’s Turkey and Russia. On Tuesday, Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, was in Azerbaijan, where he said Turkey would act […]

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