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Armenia brings sanctions upon Iran?2012-12-03 17:51
Iran and Armenia have begun joint construction of two hydroelectric power plants on the Aras River flowing along the border with Azerbaijan. One of the GES fully becomes the property of Armenia in 15 years, and until then it will supply power to residents of Iran. Such is the price of Iranian investments. Construction, designed for 5 years, is estimated at around $ 324 million. Baku is wary of Armenian-Iranian projects, since quite harmless at first glance economic project is fraught with many nuances that are not visible to the naked eye.
"Azerbaijan is concerned since we already know how the Armenian side is using such leverages. We see it every year on the example of Sarsang reservoir on the Tartar River, which is currently on the occupied territory", political scientist Nader Yusufoglu says. "Every time in the spring and autumn, the Armenians drain water from the reservoir, and thus create artificial floods in low-lying areas of Azerbaijan. And in summer, when the water is needed to irrigate farmland, they cut off it, and yields in these regions decrease significantly. Therefore Azerbaijani side seriously monitors events on the Aras River. If necessary, we take all the measures in the framework of international law", the analyst warns.
There is another point in the construction of hydropower plants on the Aras River which requires special attention. We are talking about sanctions by the international community against Iran. It is no coincidence that the U.S. Embassy in Baku has expressed its position on the Iran-Armenia project. "We are monitoring all reports of activities potentially subject to sanctions, and ready to work with the countries in case of appearance of significant concerns about their actions", said in the U.S. embassy.
We should look at the activities on the Aras River to also taking into the account the state of Lake Urmia in Iran and agricultural lowlands in the Mil-Mugan zone of Azerbaijan, the expert Sakit Huseynov believes. For several years, environmentalists are sounding the alarm about the drying of Urmia. This problem has particularly strongly affected the residents of the areas around the lake, most of whom are ethnic Azerbaijanis. "For many decades, the lake has served not only the ecological stabilizer of the region, but also a source of income for the people. But today nothing has left from the former beauty of this region. The lake is more like a salt mine. There are no birds that used to nest here, fish which served a source of food and income for people living around the lake has died out", the expert told us.
The inaction of Iranian authorities over the situation around the Lake Urmia prompted the nearby residents to hold a series of protests. Unfortunately, the actions have been brutally suppressed, and some protesters - arrested. However the protesters managed to draw international attention to the issue. But Iranian officials, who had offered to change the course of the Aras River and direct it to Urmia, have attracted even more attention. Many Azerbaijani experts called it another provocation by Iranian officials.
According to Sakit Huseynov, such a development may lead to climate change in the region. "If you change the flow of the river, the lowland irrigated by Aras River may turn into a semi-desert, or even into a desert. Moreover, they can get problems with the cultivation of land, which can eventually lead to serious food problem", experts say.