Jan 27, 2021, 12:41 PM
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Iran's opportunities in Caucasus bolstered: Political expert

Tehran, Jan 27, IRNA - Iran has active diplomatic relations with three neighboring countries of the Caucasus region and it has gained a better opportunity to play a more influential role in the region following the departure of former US President Donald Trump from office, a political analyst opines.

Vali Kouzegar Kalji told IRNA in an exclusive interview that Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi's trip to the Caucasus region during the recent war between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan and the ongoing tour by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Georgia are two important diplomatic visits to the region in recent months and days.

The researcher of the Center for Strategic Studies added that FM Zarif's tour is in line with the implementation of the 3+3 design, including Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran.

According to the analyst, Iran pursues the foreign policy of resolving disputes of the Caucasus region without the presence of any ultra-regional powers; so, the regional states could reach consensus on different issues.

Iran as the only country in the region, which has amicable ties with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, has absolutely more capacity than Turkey and Russia to affect regional developments, he stipulated.

He further noted that maintaining the 42 kilometers joint border between Armenia and Iran open for commerce is very important for Tehran.

The Islamic Republic attaches importance to revitalizing Soviet era railway, which goes through Nakhchivan and near Iran's borderline to Russia, he said, adding that the Iranian officials could make use of the capacity and try to link the railway to Rasht-Astara railroad in Iran.

Kouzegar further referred to opportunities for Iran in infrastructure, dam-building and power plant sectors, noting that the Republic of Azerbaijan is not keen on giving all of its cooperation capacities at Turkey's hands.

The political analyst also called on Iranian authorities to supervise Karabakh peace deal in order to prevent ambiguities on Iran-Armenia border corridor. Iran could also play a key role in minesweeping mission in Karabakh war zone, he added.

Kalji in his views said, Iran's opportunity in the Caucasus region has been strengthened in post-Trump era, noting that FM Zarif's tour to the region following the change of president in the White House is very important, because the regional states have been under pressure of the United States to reduce their ties with the Islamic Republic.

The US imposed more pressure on Georgia to cut their cooperation with Iran, because Tbilisi has more financial and trade exchanges with Tehran, the expert of Caucasus affairs noted.

He went on to say that the Iranian foreign minister paid a visit to Baku and held fruitful talks with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov as well as Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev on Monday.

1424

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