Once again, the flames of a dangerous military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia are climbing in the neighbourhood of our homeland and on its frontiers. The clear interference of reactionary states in the region – including Erdogan’s reactionary government [in Turkey] and the regime of the Supreme Religious Leader [in Iran] – in encouraging the government of Azerbaijan to continue its military assault, are dangerous actions that will undoubtedly serve the short and long-term goals of imperialism in the region. Defending the military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for an all-out war to overthrow the Armenian government. According to several reports, the presence of Turkish military forces in the conflict and the participation of the Turkish Air Force have created a critical situation.
On Sunday, 27 September 2020, world news agencies reported that Azerbaijani armed forces resumed their attacks on targets inside the Nagorno-Karabakh area, resulting in large-scale civilian casualties and destruction of residential areas. There have also been reports that the government in Turkey has recruited mercenary jihadist fighters [in Northern Syria] over the past few months to participate in the planned assault in the area alongside Azerbaijani forces [as irregulars], which gives a very worrying dimension to the nature and purported objectives of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
In recent days, representatives of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the four [Iranian] provinces of West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardebil, and Zanjan, announced in a joint statement that Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan.
Defending the Azerbaijani government’s military action, these representatives added: “There is no doubt about Nagorno-Karabakh belonging to Azerbaijan, its [current] occupation, and the necessity of returning these lands to Azerbaijan, the country of Shia believers, and the government of Azerbaijan has acted completely legally and religiously [morally] in reclaiming these lands.”
Khamenei’s representatives went on to claim: “The Islamic Republic of Iran has furnished the highest level of assistance and support during the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan and has defended Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity in all international circles, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recently reaffirmed Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity in the recent conflict. Were it not for the Islamic Republic’s aid at the onset of the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, the occupation would have certainly extended to Baku.”
Of course, these claims are made after years during which the Islamic Republic of Iran has established extensive economic and political relations with the Armenian government.
The potential spread of this conflict to other countries in the region, as well as its continuation into the long-term, along with the intervention of foreign and imperialist forces pursuing their own expansionist interests, constitute a very concerning and serious threat. This could lead to the emergence of an epicenter of a devastating military-political crisis in the region, right on Iran’s borders. Indeed, it has been reported that even some villages in Iran were damaged during the recent clashes. Thus, Iranian families in Iran’s Azerbaijan region are exposed to the deadly and devastating consequences of such conflicts.
The escalation of military conflict and war between Azerbaijan and Armenia is undoubtedly neither in the interests of the Azerbaijani nor Armenian peoples. This destruction and killing – as proved by the eight-year-long fratricidal war between Iran and Iraq – advantages only the local reaction, arms monopolies, and imperialist forces, who have always benefited from regional military conflicts to expand their political and military influence.
The Tudeh Party of Iran believes that under the current critical circumstances, it is imperative that all progressive and peace-loving forces across the region and world resolve to immediately and unconditionally halt to the bloody military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. We strongly condemn the biased and interventionist positions of governments and political forces – especially those of military intervention – that serve only to inflame this dangerous conflict, and also call for the immediate withdrawal of all mercenary jihadist forces from the area.
We must do everything in our power to mobilise public opinion and increase international efforts to find a peaceful solution, protect stability and security in the region, bring about and maintain peace, and prise the hands of interventionists away from the region.
We call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the start of negotiations towards a permanent peace agreement under the auspices of the United Nations and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
The Tudeh Party of Iran
2 October 2020