Al-Qaida Would Escape in Karabakh

Azer H.Hasret

Tensions between clerical Iranian regime and US are raising every day. US believes that some Al-Qaida terrorists responsible for series of attacks on US-connected targets are hiding in Iran. Others hiding are those who left Afganistan after successful US-led military operation. But Iran’s part denies these accusations claiming that “Iran was fighting with Al-Qaida before US”.

Thus Iranian government tries to identify itself as an enemy of terrorism while US included Iran to the list of countries officially supporting different terrorist groups. President Bush identified Iran as a member of the “axis of evil” in his January 2002 State of the Union address. This means terror is a part of this government’s policy/weapons. But Iran, which names itself “Islamic Republic” denies all these positions.

While for the first time US begun to talk on this issue we, here in Azerbaijan, remembered that people in our country accused Iran for supporting Armenian occupation army and Armenia itself as a whole which keeps under control about 20% of Azerbaijani territories.

We expressed the belief and later that was raised by prominent politicians and experts on international level, that Iran alongside with Armenia is using occupied Azerbaijani territories for harboring terrorists and planting narcotics.

As usual Iran always was in good relations with Armenia than Azerbaijan. The reason is very simple: Iran keeps under its control some 30 million Azerbaijani Turks with no right to national selfidentity. For example Turks in this country have no school in their language while a small minority of Armenians have a school in Armenian.

Usually Iranian officials say they recognize territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and would like Armenia to leave occupied territories. In other hand Azerbaijani lands being under control of Armenia and in reality being legally uncontrolled by any government is very much wanted by Iran. Because Armenia is using this territory for harboring its terror groups as well as for transit of narcotics. Iran is one of the “famous” narco- and terror-producers in the world. And in this case the will of Iran is relevant to the will of Armenia and these both countries cooperate in this field.

“We are pressing Iran not to develop nuclear weapons. We are pressing them not to harbor terrorists,” White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said on May 27, 2003. “There is no change in American policy”.

OK. This is good that US are pressing on Iranian regime. Probably it will bring some results. May be some of the terrorists will leave Iran and try to escape in other countries/territories. The closest one to Iran is the legally uncontrolled (illegally controlled by Armenia) territories of Azerbaijan (occupied territories of Nagorno Karabakh and surrounding areas). In case US pressure on Iran grows these terrorists will go on hiding in Azerbaijan. May be they are already there. It is quite possible. Why not? Be I in hiding I’d go to these kind of territories.

What is the lesson coming out from this situation? We believe that for ending with terror at all it is very needed to solve the problems of uncontrolled/occupied territories. One of them is Nagorno Karabakh as mentioned and US as a member of OSCE Minsk Group, mediating to solve the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan should take fruitfull steps in this direction. It is time to end with all kind of terrorist or terror supporting governments. It is time to end with occupants too. In case the number of uncontrolled territories grow, the terror will grow too. To end with one of the terror harbors – Iran – it is needed to clean up the surrounding countries from uncontrolled zones and one of them is Nagorno Karabakh of Azerbaijan.

Azer H.Hasret is the Secretary General of Azerbaijan Journalists Confederation (AJK).

Source: Baku Today

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