BAKU: Ethnic Azeri leaders say US concern about Iran justified

Ethnic Azeri leaders say US concern about Iran justified – fuller version

Ekspress, Baku
27 Jan 05

Excerpt from Nigar Almanqizi’s report by Azerbaijani newspaper
Ekspress on 27 January headlined “If USA bombs Iran…”

The Iranian parliament approved the country’s nuclear programme and a
uranium enrichment project last November. [Passage omitted: general
comments by unidentified experts on Iranian nuclear energy programme]

We wonder what organizations of Southern Azerbaijan [northern Iran
populated by ethnic Azeris] and other experts think about this. What
fate awaits our compatriots in the event the USA starts military
operations against Iran?

The head of the Baku office of the National Revival Movement of
Southern Azerbaijan (NRMSA), Huseyn Turkelli, has said that he is
against war in any country. “Our activity does not aim to have Iran
bombed or pressurized by foreign forces. The history of the struggle
of Azeri Turks to restore their rights is a century long,” Turkelli
said, adding that he was more concerned about Iran having access to
nuclear weapons. He believes that this could affect not only
Azerbaijan but all Iran’s neighbours and the Gulf states.

Apart from Armenia, Iran does not have normal relations with
Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar or its other neighbours,
he said. “A regime which has serious problems with the population
inside the country will become a new tragedy for the world if it gets
access to nuclear weapons. In preventing this tragedy, if there is no
choice but to bomb Iran’s strategic facilities, we cannot say no to
this option and we should accept this.”

Asked whether this could lead to Azeri Turks gaining independence,
Turkelli said that in Iran there would be no war, as has been the case
in Iraq. Turkelli also believes that even if the USA has plans, it
takes into consideration the people’s will. “Our organization is the
largest one in Southern Azerbaijan. The movement is currently facing
serious problems with disseminating its ideas among people. These
problems hinder the strengthening of the movement. But the movement
can still have its say,” Turkelli said. He believes that even if the
people of Southern Azerbaijan cannot gain full independence, they will
at least manage to establish an autonomous state with their own flag,
parliament and president.

The chairman of the defence committee of the NRMSA, Cahandar Bayoglu,
also said that the countries responsible for security in the world
were naturally concerned about the threats Iran posed to both the
region and world as a whole and that this concern was well
grounded. “Iran has turned into a dangerous country that does not
accept the rest of the world. The fact that this country produces
nuclear warheads causes justified concern in countries like the USA.”

Bayoglu said that the United States was looking into options to
eliminate this regime: “One of the options is a military
intervention. But the question is how this military intervention will
be implemented. The timing and ways are possibly being discussed.”

Bayoglu said that in the event of a US invasion of Iran, there would
be no need to use a large number of troops, as was the case in
Iraq. He thinks that during a US operation, not only the Azeri Turks
but also all the ethnic groups living in that country would revolt
against the Iranian regime.

[Passage omitted: Iranian general recently warned USA about
retaliatory actions Iran can take]

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress