Iran,Iraq,Turkey,Azerbaijan and Armenia - a Security and Political Assessment
Publish date: 2004-01-01
Report number: FOI-R--1351--SE
Written in: English
Iran. Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia are five countries situated in a geopolitically important region in western Asia. Iran has been subject to increasing external pressure, in particular concerning its nuclear program. The internal discontent with the theocratic regime is also growing. Iraq is likely to remain plagued by low-level conflict during the foreseeable prospect. Internally, a large number of complex issues need to be solved before Iraq can have a largely respected and sovereign national government. Turkey´s security situation has improved after the end of major fighting in Iraq. Turkey has re-established good relations with the United States and the AKP party has launched several political and economic reforms in order to promote negotiations with the EU although membership remains distant. The Nagomo-Karabakh conflict looks unlikely to be solved in a short perspective in the absence of strong external initiatives. Azeri President Ilham Aliev has managed to maintain good relations with russia and western countries and has improved relations with Iran, but his internal political position remains unstable. Armenia has also managed to maintain good relations with both Russia and the western countries. Internal discontent is growing, but the opposition has failed to present a genuine political challenge.