Franco-Iranian-Indian trinity stake on destabilisation of South Caucasus
    Armenian revanchism fueled by weapons

    ANALYTICS  10 June 2023 - 12:22

    Matanat Nasibova

    In recent months the media periodically publishes reports that Armenia is buying large quantities of weapons. Last month, for example, it was reported that France intends to start supplying weapons to Armenia, particularly, about 50 armoured personnel carriers, and in the future, it is planned to supply French Mistral surface-to-air missile systems.

    Citing information from an insider with wide connections in the Armenian diaspora in France, Caliber.Az also provided information that Indian Trajan guns, an analogue of Caesar SAU, the production of which is localised in India with the participation of French Nexter Systems and local partner companies, will soon start arriving in Armenia with the assistance and official permission of Paris.

    It is also known that the Armenian diaspora in France has financed the enterprise with the approval of the French military and political leadership and personally President Macron. It is even more curious that, according to available information, the 155 mm/52 calibre cannons will not be transported by direct flights, but first they will be delivered to the territory of Iran, and then they will be sent to Armenia by land transport.

    It is well known that Russia was formerly Armenia's main supplier of weapons, which was carried out either on preferential terms or free of charge.

    However, after its defeat, Armenia began to refuse to purchase Russian weapons because they had proved unsatisfactory on the front, and local military experts had described them as ineffective.

    Today, taking advantage of the tensions in Azerbaijan-Iran relations, Yerevan has managed to involve Tehran in the scheme of military supplies from India. However, the Franco-Iranian-Indian trinity has supported Armenia before, but now it seems to have multiplied its efforts to pump Yerevan with weapons, uniting as an alliance of states unfriendly to Azerbaijan.

    By the way, such an open and aggressive dislike of Azerbaijan, for example, in Iran, suddenly emerged after the impressive victory of the Azerbaijani army in the war of 2020. This undoubtedly historical event and the subsequent changes in the geopolitical situation in the South Caucasus discouraged Azerbaijan’s Southern neighbour and drove it to provide the Armenian army with weapons.

    The Armenian Armed Forces already have Iranian drones, which they used against Azerbaijan. Last month (May 11), the Armenian side used bouncing ammunition (kamikaze drones) to bombard the positions of the Azerbaijani army during the provocations on the conditional Armenian-Azerbaijani border. But Armenia itself denies the use of Iranian-made drones. Armenian Defence Minister Suren Papikyan sought to deny the use of Iranian drones in Armenia.

    It's also known that drones that Russia uses to attack Ukrainian energy infrastructure are also imported to Russia from Iran with Armenia's assistance. According to Telegraf, the US has repeatedly warned Armenia about the consequences of its close military relations with Iran and Russia.

    At the same time, Azerbaijan's victory in the Second Karabakh War annoyed the French Senate, which has long been sympathetic to its Armenian "sister". It is enough to recall how in November 2020, the French parliament adopted a resolution on recognition of the independence of the self-proclaimed regime in Karabakh, and in November 2022, the Senate adopted an absurd resolution on the introduction of sanctions against Azerbaijan and demanding "to withdraw Azerbaijani troops from Armenia”.

    There is no doubt that all these "documents" were initiated exclusively by the Armenian lobby, rich and influential in this country. At the official level, Paris supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and does not recognise the "independence" of Karabakh, but at the same time in January of this year it strongly supported the sending of the second European mission to Armenia with "supervisory functions" and later was deeply concerned about the situation on the Lachin road and the security of Karabakh Armenians.

    That is, Paris was and is on the side of Armenians. It is clear that France, led by Macron, is primarily pursuing its own goals, namely to gain access to the Caucasus and get a foothold in this strategically important region, and this is why Paris is so eager to mediate in the negotiations between Baku and Yerevan. Macron even organised a kind of "European community" and arranges forums and interstate negotiations on its platform. However, he has not achieved a sufficiently prominent role in the Azerbaijani-Armenian peace talks.

    At the same time, Paris is trying to ignite a new fire in the region by provoking another conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan against the background of the revanchist aspirations of Yerevan. It is precisely for this purpose that the French, through the hands of Iranians and Indians, are so zealously engaged in supplying weapons to Armenia.

    It should be stressed in this regard that official Baku views the purchase of weapons by Yerevan as an attempt to distance itself from the peace negotiation agenda, rightly believing that the purposeful militarisation of Armenia can have unpredictable consequences for the entire South Caucasus.

    The fact that revanchist forces in Armenia are raising their heads and that territorial claims against Azerbaijan are continuing was not incidentally mentioned by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev when he recently received the credentials of the newly appointed Indian Ambassador to Baku Sridharan Madhusudhanan. It was a hint that one should not contribute to an escalation in a foreign region for his own profit.

    President Aliyev's message to India is based on specific facts: the Indian newspaper The Economic Times has publicly acknowledged that Armenia had signed a contract worth over $250 million for the purchase of weapons from India, including Indian 214 mm Pinaka multiple rocket launchers and missiles for them, anti-tank missiles and a number of ammunition. And this is not the first time Indian weapons systems have been exported to Armenia.

    In 2020, India delivered four Swathi radars to the country for about $44 million. These radars, designed to meet Indian Army requirements, are used to detect artillery shells, mortar shells and rockets, as well as to pinpoint the location of launchers and artillery positions.

    "Armenia's rash arming creates new threats," the Azerbaijani head of state warns both Iran and India, which supply arms to Armenia, and the entire world community.

    "If Armenia really wants peace with Azerbaijan, then why is it buying weapons worth hundreds of millions of dollars?” Aliyev said and emphasised that such a policy can bring new threats to the region. The latter obviously does not bode well for Armenia.


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