Azerbaijan Shifts Focus To Iran For Land Corridor Amid Armenia Impasse

Iran International
Oct 26 2023

Azerbaijan Republic has redirected its efforts away from seeking a land corridor through Armenia to connect with the Azerbaijani enclave of Nakhichevan.

Instead, the nation is now exploring discussions with its southern neighbor, Iran, as disclosed by a senior Azerbaijani official on Wednesday.

Hikmet Hajiyev, a top foreign policy advisor to President Aliyev, told Reuters that "Azerbaijan had no plans to seize Zangezur," referring to the proposed corridor aimed at connecting mainland Azerbaijan to the Nakhichevan enclave, which shares a border with Turkey, a close ally of Baku.

He explained, "After the two sides failed to agree on its opening, the project has lost its attractiveness for us — we can do this with Iran instead."

Armenia strongly opposed the notion of such a corridor, apprehensive that it might lead to additional territorial concessions following Azerbaijan's swift military campaign resulting in the seizure of the long contested Nagorno-Karabakh region in September.

Although internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory, Karabakh had been under the control of ethnic Armenians since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, prompting the mass displacement of approximately 120,000 ethnic Armenians into Armenia.

Azerbaijan had recently urged the inclusion of its long-standing request for a transport corridor through southern Armenia in the ongoing peace treaty negotiations.

Iran’s defense ministry earlier warned that it will not tolerate any changes to international borders in the region.