War in Iran may turn Caspian Sea region into arena of military operations

By Arzu Naghiyev

If the U.S. and Israel begin massive air attacks on Iran, Tehran can clearly respond to these actions. Border countries can be the target of some missiles, which it will use in the conflict. That is why, it is necessary to place modern radar systems in the countries bordering with Armenia and Iran, as well as along the coast of the Caspian Sea.

Of course, Azerbaijan must protect itself from Armenia and its military allies till a peace agreement is signed. Certainly, one must not rule out that Iran under the pretext of the cooperation with various countries at any time may subject the Azerbaijani territories to rocket fire or air attack.

One must not forget that the Russian army after technical modernization and transformation process into the brigade structure of the 102nd military base located in Armenia presented a large number of weapons and ammunition to the Armenian army.

Armenian defense enterprises were reconstructed, a joint Armenian-Russian air defense command post and the enterprises dealing with capital repair of aircrafts and helicopters were created with the help of Russian experts in 2010. Such examples as the reconstruction of the armor and the establishment of the repair plant in April 2012 within theagreement between the Charentsavan Machine Tool Factory (Armenia) and «Uralvagonzavod» (Russia) and many other facts can be mentioned.

> Caspian Region Map
While cooperating with Armenia within various military blocs, Russia is also expanding its presence in the Caspian Sea. «Dagestan» ship has been recently commissioned. It is designed to implement complex tasks (patrolling, border security, protection of the marine economic zone, etc.) in the Russian sector of the Caspian Sea, as well as capable of carrying «Caliber-NK» cruise missiles, implementing underwater, surface and air defense and shoot a target at a distance of 300 kilometers.

However, this can be considered as an answer to Iran’s statement about the transfer of submarines from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea and deployment in its waters of missile carriers in accordance with the plan of preparing for war with Israel.

None of the Caspian countries is happy with such actions of Iran, and they try to increase their capacity in the Caspian Sea. In turn, this suggests that in the event of a major war, not only the Persian Gulf, but the Caspian Sea can become an arena of war.

Generally speaking, the Iranian factor is of particular importance for Yerevan in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Tehran is interested in the preservation in Nagorno Karabakh of the status quo and the military balance. This is explained by the fact that, in the event of any military intervention in Iran, protection of critical infrastructure, uncontrolled borders and air space that are of great strategic importance both for Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, and Iran will be a priority request for the Armenian government, which is unlikely to be able to handle it. That doesn’t suit Iran.

There is yet another factor frightening Armenia and Iran with regard to the possible armed conflict — and that is the obstacles to the transportation of essential civilian goods, such as basic necessities, medicines, fuel and lubricating oil, sent by Russia and Iran, and carried now through the territory of Georgia.

In short, if the current conflict enters the active phase, a «big war,» the danger of which was spoken about repeatedly, will not bypass the entire Caspian region.