Iranian diplomacy has once again embarrassed itself. Iranian Ambassador to Armenia Abbas Badakhshan Zohouri took part in the discussions on “Armenian-Iranian relations in the context of common interests,” where he made a whole series of absurd statements.

For instance, according to the Iranian diplomat, in the context of regional processes Iran and Armenia agree on such principles as the need to respect international borders, peaceful resolution of disputes, the need to respect the rights and security of peoples in the region, and common efforts to establish stability and peace in the region. Isn’t Aghai Zoukhari aware that Armenia occupied 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory until it was kicked out by the “Iron Fist”? That Armenia still refuses to delimit and demarcate its borders, knowing that it will have to return to Azerbaijan not only the 7 villages of Gazakh District, but also significant territories in the border area? That Yerevan, even after signing the Prague agreements, does not intend to openly renounce its territorial claims against Azerbaijan?

But that is not all. At the same forum the Iranian diplomat explicitly declared that Iran would not allow the opening of the Zangezur corridor. According to him, Iran and Armenia “should not allow for the initiative to come from the other side, while we just respond to it. On the contrary, we should take the initiative ourselves. We should consider what steps need to be taken and not wait for an initiative on the opening of the corridor to emerge and then think about what position we should choose and express it. We must not allow this.”

First of all, no one is going to ask for Iran’s “permission” regarding the corridor, which in no way affects the territory of Iran itself. As for Armenia, its Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a trilateral statement of November 10, 2020, which enshrines Yerevan’s commitments to provide a corridor in Zangezur. You will recall that by the time this statement was signed, the army of Azerbaijan had liberated Shusha, then knocked the occupiers out of 70 villages and townships within one day, trapping 25,000 soldiers of the Armenian armed forces, and Yerevan was not in a position to “not allow” anyone to do anything. And even if the situation is different today, it certainly has not changed in Armenia’s favor. This is not exactly the right time for “tongue rattling”.

Still, the IRI ambassador has made this statement. The damage is done. Never before has the Iranian “mullahcracy” allowed itself such harsh and threatening statements regarding the Zangezur corridor. And the fact that this was said by the Iranian ambassador to Armenia changes nothing: a self-respecting country cannot have one position for Yerevan, another one for Baku, yet another one for someone else.

One wonders what about the Zangezur corridor scares the Iranian authorities so much that they go into these verbal escapades and bang their bald heads on the floor. Or rather, their turbans on the carpets (including those stolen from Azerbaijani homes). Apparently, became infected with the Armenian fears that the Zangezur corridor implies restoration of Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over West Zangezur. So, the ongoing hysterics of Iranian diplomats makes one wonder what subtle smuggling operations are carried out across the border between Iran and Armenia, the country that of all Iran’s neighbors ended up being the closest friend of the local mullahcracy.

Lastly, it is hardly a coincidence that Aghai Zohouri had his “tongue-rattling” session shortly after Azerbaijani mass media circulated a chilling leak about a dangerous armed provocation being planned by IRGC in cooperation with Armenian security services—in Zangezur of all places, right where the corridor is supposed to be—with Iranian soldiers dressed in Azerbaijani uniform attacking an Armenian post and then fake “Armenian” soldiers attacking an Azerbaijani post. A few hours later, the Armenian ambassador-at-large Edmon Marukyan, nervous about this leak, got busy on social media, saying: “Having nothing else to do, Azerbaijani media spreads another lie claiming that Armenia and Iran are going to attack the Lachin Corridor, blocked already for 60 days” and then demanded that “Azerbaijan must unblock Lachin Corridor”. Mind you, we were talking about a planned provocation in Zangezur, not on the Lachin road.

Thus, Aghai Zohouri’s tongue rattling is yet another proof that Iran is not just off its rocker. After the attack on the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Tehran, they are prepared to carry out outright armed provocations against our country, in cooperation with Armenia to boot. They obviously believe that while Turkey is busy dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake, it will be easier to deal with Azerbaijan. It is hard to say whether this “plan” is more villainous, cynical or outright stupid. The VIP conspirators have once again neglected to analyze the balance of power in the region and the world. They also failed to take into consideration that both the security services of Azerbaijan and the armed forces of our country have the means to respond to such armed attacks. The chronicle of the 44-day war provides plenty of food for thought here. The masterminds behind this provocation will have to pay a price of their own.

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