Iran’s Role in Karabakh Conflict Gets New Shades

Karabakh conflict continues to remain on the agenda of the regional countries, Iran as well. Due to economic and security reasons the Islamic Republic is interested in the stability of the region and cannot remain indifferent to the continuing tension in the conflict zone, therefore, declares that the region will not be able to withstand another escalation of the conflict.

As it was expected, after the exemption of international sanctions, Iran returns to the international arena and Tehran’s attitude or position in the Karabakh conflict is getting new shades or colors. Urging the parties to show restraint, the Iranian side stresses that the Karabakh conflict should be resolved through dialogue and negotiations, exclusively by political means. Preserving, as before, the positive neutrality between the parties to the conflict, official Tehran consistently emphasizes its willingness to take on the role of mediator.

It is noteworthy that Iran’s interest in mediation differs from its earlier undertaken similar efforts. And the main reason perhaps lies in the new geopolitical realities. Particularly, the interests of Iran and Russia intersect in the region at this stage, which is also due to the desire of both sides to prevent the interference of external forces in the region and due to the experience of successful cooperation in Syria (including in the Iran-Russia-Turkey format). The Iranian side probably does not exclude the possibility of some consultations or cooperation with Russia over regional issues, including Karabakh conflict.

The Iranian President is expected to visit Russia at the end of March. According to unofficial data, the agenda of the meeting between Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin will include the Karabakh conflict, therefore, it is not excluded that consultations will be in line with the logic expressed above.

Arpine Hovsepyan