After the April war the cooperation between Israel and Azerbaijan seem to become even stronger, which, of course, has its own interests in the region. The above mentioned question is discussed in an interview with an economist, Facebook user AraAbrahamyan organized by ‘Artsakhtimes’.
Our country seems to be involved in a new political game, in which the role of Israel is obvious. What is Israel interested in?
Regional game started long ago, at least after the establishment of the State of Israel, but the game is developing at a different pace. Israel considers Iran the main threat of its existence, the Iranian people assist Palestinians. Along the Jewish lobby’s empowerment in the USA, American support for Israel has grown, especially during the last 20-30 years. The game entered the active phase as a result of the war in Iraq, and then Arab Spring revolution broke out, now Syria is in the focus. If we look at the map, it is clear that the ultimate target is Iran; I call it “expedition to Persia”. Since its establishment Turkey has been the main ally of Iran. However, when the ‘Arab Spring’ reached Syria, the tension concerning ‘the nuclear program’of Iran increased and Turkey tried to avoid confrontation with Iran. Turkey and Israel hadstrained relations, Erdogan showed obvious anti-Israeli position, Israel actively supported the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and we witnessed various attempts of revolution and political disobedience. Erdogan’s attempt to make Turkey the leader of the Islamic world failed and Israel confirmed good relations with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and formed strong alliance against Iran. US President Barack Obama before leaving the office, at the final stages of the war in Syria, tried somehow to stay away from it. The United States, Russia and the European Union agreed on Iran’s ‘nuclear program’, most sanctions were removed from Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia with their allies were against it. Following the presidency of Obama Donald Trump made tough anti-Iranian statements during the campaign stage, therefore the bulk of the Jewish lobby having great expectations supported Trump. This is a light excursion in order to get better understanding of the role of Israel in the Great Eastern game.
What kind of rules will be dictated and what kind of challenges do Armenia and Artsakh face?
The more we speak about Iran, the more importance is given to the problem of Artsakh, the reason is liberated borderline armenian territories of Iran. There are no Armenia and Artsakh, it is a conspirator format that was introduced in “the Armenian political” vocabulary at the end of 90s. There is one Armenia with clear interests and objectives. It is no secret that Israel has been in friendly relations with Azerbaijan since its establishment. Azerbaijan was supported by the Jewish lobby both in the United States and especially in Russia. Support has been strengthened in the days of Medvedev’spresidency; it was expressed in wholesale of weapons. If we go back a little, we can suppose that mild attitude of Russian people towards the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline was the result of lobbying by the Azerbaijan. At that time “political dialogue” was formed between the first and third presidents of the organization, it was time for demonstrations and absolute inactivity, and our adversaries made use of the situation. Being afraid of the reaction of Iran,Azerbaijan carefully built relations with Israel, but in recent years, and especially during the April war, large scale cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel was noticed. Taking advantage of the weakening of Armenia and inappropriate behavior of our political elite, Azerbaijan authorities try tofind anti-armenianallies in all directions.
Recently, Azerbaijan has entered into anti-Iranian alliance, a certain threshold is passed and the process will be very difficult to stop. Azerbaijan can offer the liberated territories as a springboard against Iran Reconquista, anticipating not only the conquering of territories of Artsakh, but also territories from the so-called Northern Iran where millions of Azeri live who may start anti-state movement against the Persian state. It also fits in with the idea of Pan-Turkism; Northern Azerbaijan may unite Turkey with Azerbaijan. This is a great challenge for Armenia, it was actual long ago and it may become even harder. Here we should note that on the other handRussiahas lost its authority in the region. At first sight it seems that Russia is on the contrary strengthened by participating in the war in Syria, but it is an illusion. In fact, if we evaluate the situation, it is clear that Russia was forced out of the South Caucasus; it lost Georgia, Azerbaijan, itfailed in making serious attempts to become EEU member. European Economic Union is not established yet, but it is at the peak of collapse. Armenian society has no illusions and no hope for Russian support anymore.
The main danger in the region, which will be in the field Armenia- Russia integral interest, is the unification of Turkey and Azerbaijan, Pan-Turkism. Armenia and Russia have neither economic nor political interests. But Russia is a great country, with huge difficulties. As it did not catch the last century’s history as a real threat of Pan-Turkism and the significance and role of Armenia in the region, it will not realize it now. The most ridiculous thing is that after 25 years, despite regional development the role of Armenia is very advantageous for Armenia could benefit greatly from all the regional players, but we always have the role of a victim, because we have the provincial strategy of 1990s, in the futile and self-defeating theory of “stage by stage “or “packaged “,”recognition”. The only solution is the empowerment of Armenia, the existence of healthy political and national environment. The April war revealed all kinds of problems. If 20 years ago the Armenians wanted to take step to return Western Armenia, nowadaysa political leader called ”the president” offers to return 7armenian regions to Azerbaijan, for the sake of “future”, this is like a bad dream. It is impossible to percept it. However, I am optimistic, I think as a nation we will overcome this great challenge, we have this potential, the war will unite us.
What impact will the US new president’s policy have of our region?
We should not make predictions about it. All the latest presidents of the US have refrained from confrontation with Iran at all costs; it does no good to America. Being involved in the happenings in the Middle East America has lost its popularity; it no longer has the reputation of “freedom” and “democracy” preaching country and face with many internal and external problems.
Huge number of problems has been accumulated in super power countries. Humanity is facing a new stage of development; there is great ideological vacuum, loss of faith in terms of essential values and deepening economic crisis. So, the events may develop in any scenario,many unpredictable things may happen, we must be ready for them.