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Iranian none-peaceful atom11.01.2012 | 11:50
Iran and the U.S. continue to play on thin ice. Tehran announced the launch of a plant to enrich uranium to 20 percent. This figure is a "red line" when it is still a "peaceful atom". The U.S. protest: they are trying to accuse the Islamic Republic of the production of nuclear weapons. The politicians' rhetoric is confrontational. Against this background, the relations of Iran, perhaps the prewar, with their Caucasian neighbors - Azerbaijan and Georgia - are not so evident.
Let's start with Georgia. One of the leaders of the opposition "National Assembly", a protest rally of which was too toughly dispersed by the Georgian police on May 26 last year, is Elizbar Javelidze. Until recently, the media forgot about him. But not long ago he made the statement, which is now being actively discussed. According Javelidze, the Americans are building infrastructure in Georgia that will enable the United States to provide their rear after the outbreak of war with Iran. As the main proof of this thesis Javelidze leads rapid construction of mini-hospitals throughout the country. In accordance with a special program, insurance companies are building small hospitals in the district centers and large settlements. The idea, as usual in Georgia,
is widely promoted and Medical Center in Marneuli, where Azerbaijanis live in compact, was not so long ago opened by personally President Mikhail Saakashvili.
According to Javelidze, in fact these hospitals are not built for Georgian citizens, but for the wounded during the impending war with Iran U.S. soldiers. In general, a whole new infrastructure of the country is not for peaceful purposes, but for the needs of the U.S. Army. For example, Lasika city, planned to be built at the Black Sea coast, is designed for the deployment of the U.S. submarines and military bases. And in Marneuli, where Saakashvili opened a hospital, according to Javelidze, there is a secret military airdrome.
Everything said by the opposition politician looks like a nightmare for Georgia. Because if everything is true, then Iran would strike back on Georgian territory. The consequences of this strike are clear. GTimes asked well-known Georgian political analyst Paata Zakareishvili to comment this version. Most interesting is that he does not preclude the use of Georgian infrastructure in the event of war in Iran. "Of course, geographic location and available resources make it possible to assume that in the event of a war in Iran, our potential will be used. There is a sea, there are convenient roads linking east and west of the country. Another thing is that I do not think that this scenario is real. I do not think that the ground operation is possible. Of course, if the Republicans come to power in U.S., then the war may occur, but it would be air strikes", said Zakareishvili.
Georgia and Iran are if not allies, but rather close. They have visa-free regime, Iranian tourists are frequent visitors to the Georgian Black Sea coast. All this can be minimized in the event of war. "If the war begins, I think that Georgia will have to act in accordance with the general Western position, that is to act against Iran. In practice, this will be expressed in limiting diplomatic relations, nothing more", said Paata Zakareishvili.
We now turn to Azerbaijan, which has been long and consistently conflicting with Iran. Theoretically, this is another country that could become a springboard for an attack on Iran. The information war between Baku and Tehran is permanent, but the international audience doesn't know about these nuances. GTimes learned about the details with help of our regular commentator in Azerbaijan - journalist Kerim Kerimli. "In Iran there are institutions that are constantly straining the Azerbaijani-Iranian relations. This is a student and religious associations, which believe that Azerbaijan is not fully Islamic country that has lost roots. But I think this is just an excuse. In fact, there are lots of reasons for the tensions in relations between Iran and Azerbaijan since ancient times", said Kerimli.
Indeed, superficially it seems that the two countries should be friends. Besides common religion, they are linked by a huge Azeri diaspora in Iran. Even according to official data, there are not less than fifteen million Azerbaijanis in this country, but unofficially - more than thirty-five million. But according to our commentator, the Azeri community is rather a factor, forcing the tension. "Azerbaijanis in Iran are very well represented in all spheres of life, especially in the army and religion. Their position and influence concern the Persians since historically the Azerbaijanis have been the organizers of the Persian revolutions". However, as Kerimli recognizes, at the moment the relationships between the two countries are caused not by historical factors, but by the current affairs. First of all - the oil, the second - the international policy. Here is a list of specific claims of Tehran to Baku.