My latest in PJ Media:
Old Joe’s Biden’s handlers appear hell-bent on appeasing Iran. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that “the Biden administration is considering a near wholesale rollback of some of the most stringent Trump-era sanctions imposed on Iran in a bid to get the Islamic Republic to return to compliance with a landmark 2015 nuclear accord.” That was to be expected, but unnoticed in the mad rush to get billions flowing to the mullahs as they continue to chant “Death to America” is that one of the sole good things the Dotty Old Puppet has done as “president,” the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, constitutes yet another attempt to reach out to Iran and appease the Islamic regime.
The recognition of the Armenian Genocide was right, welcome, and long overdue. However, Biden’s handlers do the right thing so infrequently (in fact, I can’t think of a single other example of their doing so) that it would be naïve to think that the recognition of the genocide was simply a matter of Old Joe’s radical socialist, internationalist, race-baiting string-pullers suddenly deciding to do something good and decent.
Turkey and Iran pay lip service to wanting to maintain excellent relations, but there are numerous tensions straining their relationship. Just a few months ago, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a brief but fierce conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh (or Artsakh, as the Armenians call it). Turkey aided Azerbaijan in numerous ways, even to the extent of sending jihadis from Syria to Azerbaijan to fight against the Armenians. Iran remained officially neutral, but Bulent Aras, professor of international relations at Istanbul Policy Center-Sabanci University, observed last September that “generally speaking, Iran appears to be closer to Armenia in its relations with both countries.” Aras explained: “Increasing Turkish nationalism [among the Azeri Turks] in Iran has been seen as a serious political problem by Iran. Connections and relations between the country’s north [where a sizable Azeri Turkish population lives] and Azerbaijan have been an important factor in Tehran’s political problems with Azerbaijan.”
Aras added that “reasons like land disputes between the two countries [Iran and Azerbaijan], increasing nationalism among Azeri Turks, issues regarding how to share natural sources of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan’s close relations with Israel, and a political desire to balance Turkey-Azerbaijan relations occasionally lead to some tensions and crisis between Baku and Tehran.”
Political analyst Esref Yalinkilicli agreed, noting that the Iranian mullahs have good reason to be concerned about a strong Azerbaijan: “In Iran, due to the enormous Turkish population, there has historically been a political fear that two Azerbaijans, Baku [the capital of independent Azerbaijan] and Tabriz [an Iranian city that is populated by Azeris] might join at some point.” Some Azeris stoke these fears, according to Yalinkilicli: “On the other hand, in Azerbaijani political memory and foreign policy, the idea of Greater Azerbaijan has always been an important factor. Iran’s traditional Armenia policy has long been a balancing act against both Azerbaijan and Turkey across southern Caucasia. As a result, behind-the-scenes, Iran backs Armenia.”
There is more. Read the rest here.