TODAY.AZ / Politics

Azeri expert predicts fallout from Iran war

23 March 2006 [10:44] - TODAY.AZ
An Azeri political analyst has warned against a possible US attack on Iran.

"If Washington starts military action against Tehran, Azerbaijan will not benefit from that," the head of the organization called "Caspian – Cooperation in the Name of the Future", Rustam Mammadov, said.

He said military operations could bring about an environmental disaster in the region. Secondly, a regional war may exacerbate Azerbaijan's humanitarian problems even further.

According to AssA-Irada, Mammadov went on to say that the bombardment of Iran could trigger a refugee influx to neighboring countries, including Azerbaijan.

"I think potentially 10 million people may seek to leave Iran in the event of a military attack."

The expert added that it wasn't too difficult to fathom the implications for Azerbaijan considering its own 1 million refugees.

"More than 10 million refugees can translate into a social catastrophe for us," he said.

Mammadov indicated that the possible strikes on Iran could also cause a host of moral problems for Azerbaijan because a significant portion of Iranian citizens are ethnic Azerbaijanis.

At the same time, a war in Iran could delay solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

According to the analyst, an increase in refugee numbers could complicate the already precarious situation. As a result, the Armenians may try to capitalize on the situation as they have been taking over Azerbaijani land throughout history.

"This policy is still continuing. The Armenians pursued it both in the times of peace and during war," Mammadov stressed.



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