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IRAN: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia squeezed between Tehran and Washington


Armenia finds itself in an unfriendly neighborhood and engaged in a highly militarized 20-year territorial dispute with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. It has long pulled off a diplomatic coup, maintaining simultaneous close relations with Iran, Russia and the United States, all three of which it relies on for protection, investment and trade.

But the chickens came home to roost two years ago when it drew the ire of the U.S. government upon the discovery by U.S. intelligence that Armenia had transferred Bulgarian missiles and rockets to Iran, according to a December 2008 cable from the secretary of State, posted on WikiLeaks.

Those weapons were later "recovered from two Shia militant attacks in which a U.S. soldier was killed and six others were injured in Iraq," according to a January 2009 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan. 

Washington was demanding answers, and Armenia was feeling the heat. 

The small nations of the South Caucasus -- Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia -- find themselves stuck between Iran, which has the potential to stir up trouble in all three nations, and the U.S., which is set on forcing them to cut off ties with the Islamic Republic, according to U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

All three countries suffer from destabilizing internal separatist and ethnic disputes easily exploitable by outsiders. 

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has also been caught in a quandary. Though he is evidently willing to work with U.S. attempts to isolate Iran, a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Baku in February 2010 indicates that he has a full-throated fear of antagonizing his large, rabble-rousing neighbor.

Aliyev told U.S. diplomats that Iranian "provocations in Azerbaijan were on the rise." He said that Iran not only was "financing radical Islamic groups and Hezbollah terrorists" but also stirring up religious tensions in Nakhichevan, Azerbaijan's geographically isolated enclave, staging demonstrations in Baku and at Azeri embassies abroad and attempting to smear Aliyev's name by depicting him next to a Star of David on Iranian television.

Both Aliyev and the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov expressed concern that Azerbaijan would become "a target" for Iranian attacks. Both men cited Azerbaijan's legally murky boundary lines on the Caspian Sea as a likely location for such an attack.

“[Aliyev] viewed the situation as very tense within Iran and believed it could erupt at any time,” the cables said. 

Although in a December 2006 cable Aliyev comes off as defensive, expressing concern over a U.S. policy toward Iran that he "does not understand," he is both more conciliatory and more fearful of Iran in the February 2010 cables. U.S. diplomats quoted Aliyev as saying that "Russian President Medvedev once told him 'that Russia did not want the Americans to squeeze Iran, but it also did not want a nuclear Iran' " -- a dilemma he seems to be able to relate to.

Georgia, for its part, has also found itself between Scylla and Charybdis on several occasions. Two years ago, relations with Iran froze over after Georgian officials, conceding to U.S. demands, agreed to extradite to the U.S. an Iranian citizen on charges of smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy.

Tensions eased in 2010, when Iran and Georgia eliminated mutual visa requirements, reinstated a direct flight between their capitals and agreed to partner on minor trade, tourism and infrastructure projects –- a turn of events that probably raised eyebrows in Washington.

A purported cable, cited by both Russian and Georgian sites but not yet available in the WikiLeaks database, quotes a briefing intended for top U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke before a trip to the South Caucasus. It indicates that Georgia is "trying to manage its relationship with Iran" but is fearful of burning any bridges that might encourage Iran to recognize its separatist territories, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as Russia did in 2008.

"It cannot afford to alienate a powerful regional neighbor and major commercial partner," the cable is quoted as stating. It is a sentiment that seems to be shared in all the South Caucasus states.

Armenia has long maintained relatively pleasant relations with Iran, in part because it is in desperate need of a regional ally.

After Armenia's alleged transfer of arms to Iran, then-Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte made it clear in a confidential letter to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan that Armenia must shape up and agree to allow U.S. inspectors to drop in unannounced –- or the little country would face "the cutoff of U.S. assistance and certain export restrictions."

U.S. sanctions would be crippling to Armenia, an impoverished country already beset by sanctions from bordering states Azerbaijan and Turkey.

While no further cables indicated whether Armenia followed U.S. orders, the January 2010 cable quotes a contrite head of the Armenian National Security Service, Chairman Gorik Hakobyan, assuring the U.S. ambassador that Armenia planned to comply with all U.S. demands.

"Armenia has a lot of problems and there is no desire to create more problems," Hakobian reportedly said.

The U.S. does not currently impose sanctions on Armenia.

-- Haley Sweetland Edwards in Tblisi, Georgia

Photo: Undated photo that appeared in a 2008 edition of Iran's English-language Tehran Times daily newspaper shows Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, at left, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Credit: Tehran Times

Comments () | Archives (23)

Note the Armenian president in the photo is not Serzh Sargsyan. It is the president before him, Robert Kocharian. Please correct the photo caption.

its amazing how these criminal turk/azeri shows it's ugly face every opportunity it gets through it's lies and propaganda all the while covering and burying their blatant anti american activities exposed by wikileaks.

"Turkey Helped al Qaeda, WikiLeaks Docs Show"

of their subverion and their criminal activities against the US exposed by the Sibel Edmond exposed in this interview.

911 Truth, Spies, Counter Intelligence, FBI, Terrorism, ISI, Pakistan, Turkey, Sibel Edmonds

Sibel Edmonds - Nuclear Trafficking- US & Turkish Officials & RAND

This is the first time I saw such a BIG mistake LA Times!!
If you even cannot find the real picture of the Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan, why I have to believe to this entire post???

FYI: This is Armenia's former president Robert Qocharyan.

"U.S. does not currently impose sanctions on Armenia"

of course, not. I mean all Armenia did was that it just passed weapons to an international rogue who later used them to KILL US CITIZENS

meanwhile, US still maintains a 1992 ban on any assistance to Azerbaijan, because Azerbaijan implements an economic blockade of Armenia, which occupied 20 % of Azerbaijan's territory (btw, what would US do to Cuba, if it, say, would occupy the counties of Florida with prevalent Cuban population ? I dont think it would be just a blockade). All beacause a handful of Senators in California, New Jersey etc. need their Armenian votes

Muslim Azerbaijan did not help Iran get weapons. If anything, it secretly cooperated with US against Iran, tried to prevent Russian nuclear equipment from reaching Iran etc.

US foreign policy, ladies and gentlemen. Any logic ?

As a last ditch effort the ignorant Azeri and Turkophile commentators are using every possible effort to misinform the public of the truth. The truth is seldom told in the represive and autocratic Azeri and Turkish governments, for, their geopolotical asspirations consist of eradicating all Christian nations in the region and creating a pan-Turkic empire.

The very vocal, yet ignorant Azeri and Turkophile commentators on this forum may be able to sway public opinion in their backward nations where freedom of expression and democratic norms ceaze to exist, however in the US where true information can be readily accessible, your efforts here are fruitless.

Oh cry me a river already! Yes, most US news media is objective and you can get all the news you want from it. However, you will never read any self-analy sis,/cryticism, as if "everything we do and say, is moral, is right and we shouldn't even be asking questions," and the message of our leaders to others is "do as we say, not as we do." Serious, self-analysis is completely absent in US mass media publications. We should first and foremost look at ourselves and what our country is doing, if we have an inch of honesty.

Well I've got a newsflash for you LA Times! USA is the biggest arms trader in the world and that includes arms sales worth in billions to dictatorships and countries knows to support terrorism such as, and here's just a few: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Columbia, and Israel.

You cannot demand from others that which you fail to do yourself. That is the basic principle of universality which the US fails to abide by. If you want to stop terrorism, stop participating in it!

Chickens are cumming home to roost?

Have you been looking at the you own government disastrous consequences of it own treasonous policies of spreading war and in stability throughout the globe in order to catch fish from waters it muddies.

oh i forgot you nor supposed to write about these taboo subjects.

Armenia has always damaged west interest in the region by taking side to Russia and Iran. today Armenia acts as a pawn of russia to destablize the NOBAKO gas pipeline, a pipeline which would bring Caspian Sea rich oil and gas to western and europe and reduce their dependence on russia's oil and gas.

Genocide of Armenians against Jews :

a)Ethnic Jews witnessed the murder of 148 members of their community near Erzurum, Turkey, by Armenian neighbors ( San Francisco Chronicle_(December 11, 1983)
b) Ethnic Armenians were in league with Hitler in the WWII, on his premise to grant themselves government if, in return, the Armenians would help exterminate Jews. Here is one example (there are plenty):

Twelve Armenian battalions served the Nazi army 1942 . Armenians wore German uniforms with an armband in the Dashnag
colours red-blue-orange and the inscription _Armenien._ (Joachim Hoffmann,_Dies Ostlegionen 1941-1943, Turkotataren,
1976, p. 172)

Killing Turks is not thier only crime against humanity.

Armenia and Armenians are guilty of genocide against Azerbaijani civilians in Khodjaly 1992 and this massacre is recognized by ISESCO, Massachusetts state,
Khodjaly massacre was commemorated by members of US congress:Con. Virginia Foxx; Con. Zoe Lofgren; Con. Ed Whitfield ; Con. Bill Shuster; Con. Michael McMahon; Con. Solomon Ortiz

Biggest fraud of Armenian nation: myth about "Armenian genocide" (S. Weems Ethnic Armenians massacred over 1 million of Turkish civilians 1890-1923 and spread all over the world their myth about "Armenian genocide".

US knows about Armenia`s crimes but does not react. Why? Because USA has wealthy Armenian lobby, though the major part of this wealth is illegal and it is made by robbing of American taxpayers ( Buying voices of American congressmen (
Armenian nationalists make sure that USA gives every year a significant amount of its taxpayers money to Armenia. Congress has granted approximately $1.55 billion in economic aid to Armenia from 1992-2003 (CRS RS20812 ). In December 2005, the MCC approved plans to sign a five-year, $235.65 million compact with Armenia (CRS Report RL32427). Those billions are used of course by Armenia for the same purpose: to buy weapon. This weapon as we can see from this article is not used “for Azeri and Turks only” or sold to terrorists and religious fanatics, it is used also against Americans.
FBI discovered that many members of Armenian-American criminal syndicate are located in Armenia. But when they have asked Armenian government to arrest them, government of this little fascist country refused. That is how Armenia thanked US, which has sent billions of dollars of American tax payers to Armenia, when many Americans put their houses on auction and can not feed their families. It turned out that Armenian-American criminal syndicate leads to the brother of Armenia´s president Sashik Sargsyan (
Will US arrest those Armenian criminals including S. Sargsyan or it will continue to follow orders of Armenian diaspora?

Armenia sends weapon to Iran and to PKK, which is a terrorist organisation, included by US in the list of worlds terrorist organisations. Armenia supports Hezbollah, aids palestinian terrrorist attacks.It sells also to muslim extremists 90% enriched uranium clean enough to make a bomb ( One day those bombs can kill American soldiers as well.

Another example of US hypocrisy:
1. US is supposed to support democracy in the whole world but in reality it supports the state Armenia, which is known for its fascist politic (occupation of 20% of Azerbaijan, killing 100 000 Azeri). The whole world condemned this fascism and demands unconditional and immediate withdrawal of forces. Armenia and its puppet regime in Khankendi (Stepanakert) keeps dismissing four UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874, and 884, PACE Resolution 1416, UN General Assembly Resolution from 62th session (2008), calling on unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territories and allowing refugees to return to their homes.

Where is US strong "democratic" voice? There is none. US sends to Armenia billions of american taxpayers money.

US hypocrisy is discussed widely in the whole world because of witch hunt of J. Assange. Here are more examples:

1. US declared a war to terrorism, but it does not deal with Armenia which is a motherland to many terrorist organizations like ASALA, Tashnak, ARA, JCAG , Hınçak, Nemesis.
2. Armenian forces massacred defenseless civilians in Khodjaly, Azerbaijan 1992 (
This genocide is acknowledged by many countries;
Why does not US recognize the Khodjaly genocide?

Armenian hypocrisy at its best in armenian "Nick" comment. It is funny that he asks for help for Armenia, which according to him is "only Christian nation in the region". I agree with definition that there is only one nation in South Caucasus with Christian majority. This is Georgia.

I always say there should be low which prohibit to Armenians to call themselves Christians. Armenians are not christians, they call themselves so, but they murdered hundreds of thousands, they lie, they steal, they rob old sick americxans, they rape, they forge. This article is just another proof. I guess the Devil is also Armenian.
And every Armenian is Devil.

What hell is USA doing in cacusian neighborhood? US is located 13000 km away of cacusian region. how shameless are these punk american entities. who give you the right to talk about 7000 years Iran's role in that region and label her as trouble maker? These countries were part of Iran less than 180 years ago. USA is source of all troubles and wars and conflicts in that region. How long does this sick situation should countine?

American hypocrisy at its best. We sell weapons to Americas enemies everyday. We should be helping the only Christian nation in the region recover from an economical disaster and use our foreign policy to force neighboring countries lift their blockade, instead of pushing them away, before Islamabad uses its influence to take complete control of the region. Armenia is fighting for the survival of its people. Here we are making all the wrong friends again and punishing the nations we should be supporting. It's not bad enough we fund Islam states in Europe, now we want to blame a small country for selling arms to the only bordering country that is willing to do business with a landlocked nation. We fund Turkey and give them weapons which they use to attack Iraq, hence putting our soldiers at risk. Not to mention the fact that they sell weapons to terrorists, as weaki link documents suggest. We should practice what we preach, Armenia is not an enemy of the US, fundamental Islam is. I'm not sure what the deal was here, and I'm not praising Armenia for selling weapons to those psychos, but we have not place to talk unless we change our ways first. Everyone is playing follow the leader.

That is not current Armenian president on the picture. Please post correct and updated information.

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