Iran Using Armenia to Transfer Arms to Syria, Effects Israel Adversely: Israeli Researchers

By Arie Egozi

Foreign Affairs

Tel Aviv: The issue of arms transfers from Iran to Syria has recently been complicated as the Israeli intelligence organisations received signs that this route is now using Armenia as one of the links.

The suspicion may enhance the defence ties between Israel and Azerbaijan, Armenia’s adversary. Recently Azerbaijan, a major client for Israeli weapon systems, submitted a new list of Israeli made weapon systems that it wants to purchase. Sources say that Israel may approve the new list and that the deliveries of some systems may begin soon.

According to a research paper prepared by Tal Beeri and Alex Greenberg from the Israel Alma Centre, cooperation between Iran and Armenia extends to Syria as well as other regions of Iranian interest. For example, in 2007, Armenia delivered rockets to Iran that pro-Iranian militias in Iraq launched against American forces.

“Currently, Iran supports Armenia in the conflict with Azerbaijan over the Karabakh region, and the IRGC’s Quds Force operates in this area. As of this writing, the conflict is in a state of high tension and may flare up again in the near future.”

The researchers write that Iran is acting against Azerbaijan on multiple fronts, with the Quds Force conducting operations in asymmetric warfare, information warfare, and transferring weapons and military equipment to Armenia. Since regional Quds Force units report to the Central Command, led by Ismail Qaani, operational demands in various areas are coordinated.

“On this basis, it is possible that Iran exploits Armenia not only to subvert Azerbaijan, but also to support the Iranian effort in Syria and Lebanon, and that some of the weapons and equipment sent to Armenia “continue” to Syria and then to Lebanon. It should be underlined that the Iranian effort in both arenas works against Israel: indirectly in the Armenian arena (Israel supports Azerbaijan) and directly in the Syrian and Lebanese arenas.”