Photo by Tianlei Wu on Unsplash
In recent months Armenia has shown at least twice where the country’s real loyalties lie – during the session of the OSCE Permanent Council on 9th February and during the special session of the UN Human rights council on 19th November 2022. The OSCE Permanent Council was supposed to discuss and condemn a deadly armed attack against the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Iran, which took place on 27th January. This attack left one man dead and two seriously injured.
Actually, the debate and the resolution condemning the action were supposed to be held even earlier, on 2nd February, but this did not happen because the Armenian delegation blocked the process, citing the need “to consult” on the issue. The OSCE condemnation must be unilateral, so effectively Armenia managed to postpone the process twice.
This makes one wonder what consultation and with whom Armenia might need to do the basic thing – condemn the terrorist attack in (and by) Iran on Azerbaijani diplomatic personnel and their families.
Maybe the answer to that puzzle is badly hidden in another event – a special session of the UN Human rights council on 19th November 2022, where members voted on condemnation of the human rights abuses of the Iran regime. This is where Armenia managed to earn a first place in the list of shame – the list of countries that voted against the condemnation of Iran.
Representatives of Western states, as well as international human rights organizations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch urged countries to support the resolution. But Armenia ignored their appeals, deaths ant tortures of hundreds of people…
“Ignore” might be just the right word to finish the puzzle of Armenia, Iran, terrorism and human rights (or the lack thereof).
“Ignore” is exactly what the Iranian police did during an unprecedented assault against Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran. Just imagine: in the country, which is rocked by protests, where military takes over cities to suppress demonstrations, where people get arrested not only for having an old hunting rifle, but for dancing in the streets, a person armed with an army grade assault rifle with several clips, a pistol and firebombs, storms a diplomatic mission. According to the Azeri MFA, the “protector” of the Embassy – an Iranian policeman – just ran away. The units, which arrived at the scene, just enjoyed for 40 minutes a bloody drama: the attacker, who was thrown out from the premises by a wounded unarmed Azerbaijani guard, was spraying bullets to the windows and the door, which he later tried to breach with a sledge hammer. They arrested the terrorist only after he ran out of bullets and tried to burn the embassy’s vehicles.
Later they declared that the assailant had “personal issues” but failed to explain how a supposedly mentally disturbed man managed to travel quite a distance from his place of residence (450 kilometres) and pack a good attack kit, including sledgehammer, Kalashnikov rifle, Colt revolver and enough ammunition to kill dozens of innocents.
Iranians tried different explanations for the attack, varied from standard-issue “CIA-Mossad-MI5-Saudi’s” version up to an absurd “Azerbaijani provocation” one. What they failed to come up with is any sort of explanation that a person with half a brain would believe. But we understand, they didn’t actually plan to explain it, they planned to use a little help from their friends in different places.
Maybe Iran is exactly with whom Armenia needed “to consult”, instead of voting for condemnation of the terrorist attack on the Embassy of Azerbaijan? After all, to vote against the hand that is feeding you is sort of impolite, the bare minimum that one can do in those complicated circumstances is at least postpone the unpleasantries as long as it humanly possible. It is hard to sit on two chairs, especially in international politics. Recently Yerevan has been trying to pass for a pro-Western state, as the Russian influence rapidly diminishes in the region.
Armenia needs to understand that if you try to sit on two stools with one butt, you’ll end up on the floor.