Armenian government does not show determination and acts in the status of an observer – Iranian media

Panorama, Armenia
Sept 15 2021

Iranian Pars Daily outlet has reflected on the situation occurred on Goris-Kapan roadway in southern Syunik province of Armenia where the Azerbaijani officers have installed a police checkpoint and levy road and transit fees from Iranian trucks traveling to Armenia. 

"Azerbaijan has disrupted the traffic on Goris-Kapan roadway for the second time in the past month. Last time, Azerbaijan kept the road blocked for two days, while this time Azerbaijani officers inspect the Iranian trucks and check the documents of drivers, at the same time demanding 130 USD for permission to continue the road." said the source. 

According to the source, it is noteworthy that the National Security Service of Armenia has confirmed the report, saying negotiations are underway to solve the issue. It reminds that a week ago during a cabinet session Pashinyan declared that the Azerbaijani Republic wanted to get road access to Nakhijevan Autonomous Republic, yet Armenia insisted that the proposed roadway should be inspected and that tolls must be levied for the traffic through the road. Despite the fact that Armenia's position on this seems quite logical, the matter is that Pashinyan lacks any leverage to use against Azerbaijan and make the precondition for Armenia a working mechanism as all leverages for pressure were conceded in the November 9 document and no attempt has been made to create new leverages. 

On the other side, Azerbaijan invaded the territory of Armenia, citing old maps from the Soviet times and apart from previous leverages got control of the 20 km section of Iran-Armenia roadway. Baku next showed its determination though blocking the interstate road, connecting Iran to Armenia for two days. 

The police checkpoint was placed days ago and judging from the reaction of Armenian officials on social media the key message was 'that is not a problem as Azeris have installed a checkpoint on a territory belonging to them.' 

Two days ago reports emerged in Azerbaijani media about Iranian trucks entering Stepanakert. Baku condemned the move and demanded to ban the entry of Iranian vehicles what it called to its territory. This is in a situation when according to the November 9 ceasefire statement, Stepanakert is not part of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and remains under the control of Russian peacekeepers. On the other side, some pro-Azerbaijani analytics in Baku point to the fact that Azerbaijan allows Russian trucks and goods enter Stepanakert from Gyanja and Barda, yet prevent Iranian vehicles from traveling through the area being afraid to reveal 'the Zionist presence' in those areas to Iran. 

"It is more noteworthy that the government of Armenia does not show determination in this respect and has acted in the status of an observer thus far. All the restrictions put on Armenian-Iran road are similar to the transit model proposed by Pashinyan for Azerbaijan-Nakhijevan road, which are customs control and duties. This is in case when just couple of months ago the interstate road was completely under Armenia's control with no restriction on traffic," the source said.  

It reminded that spokesperson at Iranian foreign ministry commented yesterday on the situation, suggesting his country had adopted a balanced policy over the matter. 

"Iran's president Rayisi's foreign policy is in prioritizing relations with neighboring countries, and Armenia plays a major role in this. This is the case both in terms of bilateral trade relations and through cooperation with Eurasian Economic cooperation, as Armenia is the only neighboring country through which the trade with the Union is implemented. The disruption of traffic on Armenia-Iran road will mean to refuse not only from 400 mln trade but also to seriously endanger the trade with the Eurasian Economic Union. 

"According to experts, as long as Iran has not used leverages such as Bile Savar-Nakhijevan road, as the only road connecting Azerbaijan to Nakhijevan and has not increased customs duties in response to ongoing developments, these actions of Azerbaijan would continue," the source said. 

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