Iran's attack on Israel, withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers, peace talks... - Insights from Andrew Korybko

Interviews 15:35 23.04.2024

Amidst a week of significant geopolitical events, including Iran's direct attack on Israel, the finalization of the delimitation agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Karabakh, Moscow-based American pundit Andrew Korybko shared his perspectives in an interview with Ednews:

Moscow-based American pundit Andrew Korybko shared insights on the matter during an interview with Ednews:

 - Recently, serious processes have been carried out in the South Caucasus. The Russian peacekeeping military contingent temporarily stationed in Karabakh has begun to leave the region. What will the withdrawal of Russian troops change in the current political situation in the region?

 - The withdrawal of Russian troops won’t change anything in the region. Their mission was accomplished: they gave local Armenians in Western Azerbaijan the opportunity to stay if they wanted to, but regrettably, most of them were duped by fake news spread by their ultra-nationalist diaspora (mostly residing in France/Paris and the US/California) into voluntarily leaving to Armenia. Given the circumstances, there’s no reason for them to remain in Azerbaijan, hence why they departed. 

 -  An agreement was reached between Yerevan and Baku on the return of 4 occupied non-enclave villages of Gazakh to Azerbaijan. How do you rate the occasion?

 - It was a pleasant surprise that Armenia returned those occupied villages to Azerbaijan. This suggests that while it previously seemed emboldened by Western political support and promises of military aid into perpetuating its occupation at the risk of war, it’s finally realizing that the West won’t come to its rescue if it reignites hostilities with Azerbaijan over those villages. Hopefully this isn’t an anomaly and instead represents a comprehensive reassessment of Armenian policy that’ll ultimately end with a peace deal. 

 - Will the expected peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan be signed this year?

It’s too early to tell whether the ongoing talks will result in a peace deal, let alone when, but Armenia’s return of those four occupied Azeri villages inspires cautious optimism. Pashinyan needs to have the political will to use force against those who might violently protest any deal as well as feel confident enough that his government could successfully rebuff any diaspora-driven and Western-intelligence-backed regime change in that event. It remains unclear whether these prerequisites have been met. 

 - The situation in the Middle East remains tense. For the first time, Iran attacked Israel with missiles and drones from its territory. Although Israel has declared that it will respond, no serious action has been taken yet. At the same time, in the backdrop of all this time of crisis, Israel continues its military operations in the Gaza Strip. How can we assess what is happening in the Middle East? Can we see further escalation in the region?

 - Iran came out on top in its tit-for-tat strikes against Israel, tahe escalation cycle of which was sparked by Israel bombing its consulate in Damascus. Israel’s aura of invincibility has been shattered. Even though most Iranian projectiles were reportedly shot down, those that still got through sent a message that it’s possible to break through the Iron Dome even when the West is aiding in its defense. Israel’s meek response was meant to “save face” and can be interpreted as a tacit agreement to de-escalate for now.

Interviewer: Akbar Novruz

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