TEHRAN– Among the countries having good relations with Azerbaijan, Iran enjoys high capabilities for reconstruction of the war-hit Karabakh region.
Azerbaijan is scheduled to implement large-scale development and reconstruction projects in the liberated territories of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Azeri government has announced that it is to allocate $1.3 billion to this sector.
In his recent statements, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev invited companies from friendly countries to take an active part in the implementation of such projects in the named region.
In his recent visit to Tehran in December 2020, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev hailed Iran as a friend country and a brotherly neighbor of Azerbaijan, saying his country holds strategic relations with the Islamic Republic.
During the visit, Mustafayev met with the Head of the Iranian Presidential Administration Mahmoud Vaezi, Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian, and Defense and Armed Forces Support Minister Amir Hatami. In these meetings, besides political ties, he investigated possibilities of cooperation in the field of electricity in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories and the participation of Iranian companies in the restoration work were discussed.
In his recent visit with Iran’s Vaezi, Mustafayev said the two countries should do their best to accelerate the implementation of joint projects such as the construction of railways, dams, and power plants in order to pave way for the expansion of interactions and relations.
Iran planning to gain share in regional (Azeri) market
Tehran is looking for a more highlighted presence and a bigger role in regional transit corridors for it believes it can have a main part in ensuring stable regional security.
Iran has recently exchanged views with Azerbaijan on issues of military-technical cooperation, as well.
Being warmly welcomed by the Azeri side, Iran has been improving novel policies for fortifying its presence and participation in economic, trade, reconstruction, and development projects in Azerbaijan. The Islamic Republic has expressed its readiness to share with Azerbaijan its experience and capabilities in the field of mines and explosives defusing in the liberated territories.
As one of its major policies Iranian government seeks to define new multilateral partnerships with regional countries, to complete semi-finished corridors, i.e., the International North-South Transport Corridor and the Persian Gulf-Black Sea corridor, in a bid to improve, accelerate and facilitate regional trade.
In the past two years, Iran has prioritized transit and transportation projects with both national and international functions to lubricate the country’s connection with neighboring nations. Tehran has also sought the establishment of multilateral transport partnerships with regional countries.
Accordingly, the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs is paying special attention to this area and has started improving its cooperation with Iranian ministries of road, finance, and trade as well as the private sector and commerce chambers on the way to hit the set targets and beat the regional rivals.
Along with the Iranian government come the domestic companies and the private sector that are inclined and resolved to have a share in the technical and engineering market of the region, including Azerbaijan. The northern neighbor enjoys oil reserves and high incomes, therefore, with low investment risks. In better words, Azerbaijan seems a lucrative target market and a safe haven for Iranian companies.
Iranian firms active in construction, hardware, and software are well-equipped to renovate the freed parts of Karabakh by their experienced workforce.
They have a brilliant history in implementing major development projects in different countries including Iraq, Pakistan, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Syria, etc. They have worked in other countries as independent contractors or under the framework of consortiums with foreign partners.
It is worth noting that they act self-sufficiently in accomplishing road, railway, and port development and construction projects relying on Iranian technicians and engineers and domestically produced machinery.
This is while the Islamic Republic is a major producer of construction materials such as cement, steel, rebar, aluminum, as well as heavy-duty vehicles, and construction machinery, etc. that is an advantage in Iran’s participation with any foreign countries.
In addition to the technical issues, Iran and Azerbaijan enjoy geographical adjacency as well as warm political ties. Compared with other countries’ applicants, having a share in the renovation of Karabakh, the geographical adjacency gives Iran an upper hand due to the ease of transporting equipment, machinery, and workforce with lower costs.
Iran-Azerbaijan collaboration on the reconstruction of Karabakh can be win-win cooperation for both sides. Reconstruction of these areas can serve the political and economic interests of both parties.
The presence of the Iranian companies and exporters of engineering services in Azerbaijan can strengthen the economic relationship and strategic and political relations between Tehran and Yerevan.
Strengthening political ties is for sure a prerequisite for the economic presence of Iran in Azerbaijan for diplomatic ties would act as a lubricant for economic relations.
Iran major peace-supporter in region
Reconstruction of the liberated areas of Nagorno-Karabakh can lead to regional development as well as long-lasting stability and security.
Iran has always respected the long-term interests of all regional countries, in particular those of its neighbors, their sovereignty, principles, and standards considering the international regulations.
In the recent war between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution, took a clear stance towards the issue noting that the main solution to the problem is a return of all occupied lands of Azerbaijan by Armenia and “this must be done and international borders must be respected.” He underscored that the security of ethnic Armenians in the occupied region of Nagorno-Karabakh must be protected.
The point is that Iran seeks not only short-term interests but also peace and security in the region in the long run.
Iran forever gateway of Armenia & Azerbaijan to PG, Sea of Oman
Under the current circumstances, some experts discuss the possibility of the construction of future corridors to link Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and to connect Nakhichevan with the Republic of Azerbaijan, in case the signed peace pact would calm down the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Presently, in addition to using the internal corridor of the former Soviet Union, the Republic of Azerbaijan is using the transit route via Iran to get access to Nakhichevan and as experts believe, the case would not change if the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would be resolved i.e. Iran would remain a safe route for Azerbaijan.
Peace settled, Iran would be converted into a golden gateway for both Yerevan and Baku to get access to the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman via rail and road through the Iranian soil.
Moreover, peace secured between Azerbaijan and Armenia leaves no reason for opportunist transregional countries including the Zionist regime to continue presence in the northern neighboring regions.
Certainly, the Zionist regime will not have a place in this region in case of peace and it will be isolated but in war and conflict, zionists can find a chance to keep the fire of war warm by selling weapons to the parties and find an excuse for being present in the region.
Zionists’ presence besides the presence of Takfiri terrorists is considered a big threat to regional security.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/456838/Iran-s-upper-hand-in-re-building-war-hit-Karabakh