Tehran, Iran – Iran has opened a consulate basic in Kapan, positioned within the southernmost Armenian province of Syunik, in what seems to be a direct message to Azerbaijan and its backer Turkey.
Iranian international minister Hossein Amirabdollahian formally inaugurated the consulate on Friday, making Iran the primary nation to determine a diplomatic mission within the province that’s sought by Baku and Ankara.
The transfer appeared to come back in assist of Tehran’s assertion that any adjustments in its borders and transit hyperlinks with Armenia can be a “crimson line” that it could not tolerate being crossed.
Azerbaijan – which additionally has a border with Iran – and its ally Turkey want to set up a brand new transport hyperlink connecting Azerbaijan’s exclave of Nakhchivan with the Azerbaijani mainland, a route they name the “Zangezur hall”.
If the route is established, in impact bypassing Armenian checkpoints, it can have penalties for Iran-Armenia commerce and will sever a serious Iranian transit hyperlink with the South Caucasus.
A historic day, as Iran opens a consulate in Kapan, Armenia.
Iran is the primary nation to determine a diplomatic mission within the southern province of Syunik, backing up its crimson line towards Azeri designs.
Might this be the start of the tip of the Zangezur mission. pic.twitter.com/aBPfhtmo1a
— Alison Tahmizian Meuse (@AliTahmizian) October 21, 2022
Yerevan has additionally stated the hall indicators a breach of the ceasefire signed after the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh battle, which Azerbaijan gained, taking again territories that had been in Armenian management for the reason that earlier battle within the early Nineteen Nineties.
“I’ll advise the individuals of Kapan to not fear, we’re right here for the Armenian individuals,” stated Morteza Abedin Varamin, Iran’s new consul-general in Kapan, on the inauguration ceremony.
Amirabdollahian, the Iranian international minister, stated “Iran considers Armenia’s safety to be the safety of its personal and the area” whereas expressing a readiness to host an Armenian consulate basic in northwestern Tabriz, the place many ethnic Iranian Turks stay.
Iran’s high diplomat, who led a high-level delegation to Armenia, met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on Saturday. He has additionally held talks along with his counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan and Alen Simonyan, the president of the Nationwide Meeting of Armenia.
Crossing the Aras
Tehran has not contented itself with solely diplomatic messages.
The inauguration of the Kapan consulate comes on the heels of a number of days of large-scale navy workouts by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) close to Iran’s borders with Azerbaijan.
The elite pressure earlier this week deployed and displayed infinite rows of tanks and rocket launch methods. It additionally practised simulations of heliborne operations, taking enemy positions, and firing missiles from assault helicopters.
In a extremely symbolic transfer, which the IRGC stated was a primary, the pressure constructed a pontoon bridge over part of the Aras river which rises in japanese Turkey and in addition marks elements of the border between Iran and Azerbaijan.
In footage carried by state tv, tanks and different tools have been proven to be carried over the bridge to a northern a part of the river, which was nonetheless on Iranian soil however presumably very near Azerbaijani land. The precise location was not disclosed.
Iranian armed forces have held three drills for the reason that finish of the Nagorno-Karabakh battle, however state-linked media stated this week’s workouts have been the most important by way of space and scope of operations.
In the course of the workouts, the IRGC additionally deployed suicide drones, together with a newly unveiled mannequin known as the Meraj-521, which was utilized by the Saberin brigades of the pressure. A miniature loitering munition, the drone can carry a warhead weighing as much as 1 kilogramme and endure flights as much as quarter-hour with a spread of 5 kilometres, in accordance with Iranian media.
This comes amid studies that Armenia is looking for to purchase drones from Iran, one thing officers from each side have but to touch upon.
Tehran has just lately come underneath heavy criticism and in addition sanctions from the US and the European Union for its alleged provide of extra superior Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, a declare it has constantly denied.
On Saturday, Iran condemned the UN name for an investigation into the alleged use of its drones in Ukraine.