One bad move after another: ruling regime in Iran on its last legs

Politics Materials 24 March 2023 11:20 (UTC +04:00)
One bad move after another: ruling regime in Iran on its last legs
Elvin Saxavatoghlu
Elvin Saxavatoghlu
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 24. Iran tried to keep secret its political, military and economic support for Armenia before the 2020 second Karabakh war. However, after the war, it began to exercise this support defiantly. The mullah regime supplies Yerevan with weapons for free, calls the borders of Armenia its "red line", opened a consulate in this country, and released a video with threats against Azerbaijan.

Hypocrisy of Tehran

Over the past two weeks, Iran's support for Armenia and threatening behavior towards Azerbaijan has intensified. On March 11, an Iranian military aircraft continuously flew along the Azerbaijani-Iranian state border, from the direction of Azerbaijan’s Zangilan district to the Bilasuvar district and back, and the Iranian Ambassador Seyyed Abbas Mousavi was given a note of protest in this regard.

Despite this, Tehran continued its provocative steps in a different form. For several days now, telegram channels associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have been threatening Azerbaijan with big war.

The latest threatening video published by media structures close to the IRGC has reflected an UAV attack across the Araz river on Azerbaijan, and it was also reported that due to tension on the northwestern borders of Iran, the combat readiness of the air defense unit and missile troops of IRGC has been increased. Moreover, information has spread that Armenia has opened its airspace to allow Iranian UAVs monitor and collect data.

Iran provides Armenia with not only military but also political support. In this context, the visit of Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani at a time when Tehran's threats against Baku are intensifying to Armenia, is especially indicative.

Iran, which didn’t object to the deployment of the European Union mission in the region, sent a message through Kani that only the countries of the region are the guarantor of security in the region. At the same time, Kani "didn’t see" that the EU mission has no representative of the region countries.

The mission was organized by the military, intelligence officers of Western states that crippled Iran with sanctions. As it’s seen, the hypocritical Iranian authorities over time increase both the dose of support for Armenia and the threatening rhetoric against Azerbaijan.

What is the aim of the mullah regime?

The new realities that have emerged in the region after the second Karabakh war worries Tehran. At present, the issue of the Zangazur corridor is on the main agenda in the region, and Azerbaijan is demonstrating a firm position on this issue.

In parallel, Tehran is losing its religious, economic and political influence in the region. Iran's loss of influence both in the South Caucasus and in other regions infuriates the IRGC and other military-political structures of the regime because the mullahs considered themselves the masters of the region for many years.

The regime is looking for external enemies, and has directed its military-political resources against the interests of Azerbaijan.

Avoiding a direct military clash with Azerbaijan, the regime arms Armenia, which is hostile to Azerbaijan, and provides Yerevan with comprehensive support, aiming to distract Azerbaijan from its tasks, using Armenia as a tool, and to impede the implementation of the Zangazur corridor project.

The proof of this is that in recent days Iran has been increasing its military-political support to Armenia. Apparently, in the event of another military clash between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Iran wants to openly intervene on the side of Yerevan.

The course of events is showing that Iran is rapidly losing power in the region and the situation inside the country hasn't been much better.

The protests and the splits

It’s known that Iran has been under international sanctions for many years because of its nuclear program. In recent months, it has come under even more pressure also because of the supply of UAVs to Moscow. Their deliveries to Moscow during the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine reduced Iran's image even further.

Mullah regime is facing new sanctions. As a result, the economic situation inside the country has deteriorated further in recent years. The population has been holding rallies against the regime for several months, demanding a change in political power.

As the protests continue, there is a serious split within the mullahs' regime. At the center of the split is the IRGC (paramilitary structure subordinate directly to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei) - the stronghold of the regime. The 44-page document, published by the Iran International website, reflects the degree of tensions within the regime. It got to the point where a group of IRGC generals planned to assassinate Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. However, on March 17, their plan was revealed.

The IRGC generals are appointed not by president of Iran, but by Khamenei. These generals are brutally suppressing protests across the country on direct instructions from Khamenei. Due to this, in most cities in Iran, the headquarters of the IRGC are the main target of the protesters. Apparently, tensions within the regime have risen to such an extent that the generals who have been appointed by Khamenei are trying to assassinate him.

The split within the IRGC is a serious signal for the Iranian authorities, because this structure owns significant financial resources, large banks and real estate, controlling nearly half of Iran's economy.

It can be assumed that not all the generals of the IRGC, who were preparing an assassination attempt on Ali Khamenei, were exposed, and they may make new attempts to seize power.

View from Baku

Baku is closely following both the internal situation in Iran and its military-political steps towards Azerbaijan, and all provocative actions of Iran will be given an adequate response. Baku regulates its steps in accordance with international law and trilateral statements [signed by Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian leaders following the second Karabakh war], and Azerbaijan's demands on Armenia are also related to its obligations.

Therefore, if Tehran intervenes, Azerbaijan will be fully supported by the allies of the country.

The course of events shows that both situation inside and outside of Iran puts more and more pressure on the ruling mullahs. Moreover, a possible military confrontation with Azerbaijan will be the end of the regime.