By Daniel Rad
LONDON (IntelliNews) — Iran appears to have moved infantry divisions and rocket artillery to its northwestern border with Azerbaijan amid indignation in Tehran at military exercises performed by the self-styled “Three Brothers”— Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan — and attempts by Baku to hinder Iranian trade flows that are important to the ethnic Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.
One representative of Iran’s supreme leader warned Azerbaijan to not “play with the lion’s tail.”
Social media lit up, meanwhile, with Iranian hardliners posting comments on the war games organized by Baku, Ankara and Islamabad, which by all accounts compelled Tehran to send troops and weapons, including armed drones, to the border with Azerbaijan in a show of force. When General Hikmat Mirzayev, Azerbaijan’s special forces commander, said during the commencement of the military exercises that cooperation between the “Brothers” was at “the highest level,” it got backs up in Iran. Another annoyance was Turkey’s participation last week with Azerbaijani forces in submarine and defense group armed forces exercises on the Caspian Sea—the Iranian foreign ministry has referred to the “illegality” of the Turkish presence as regards a convention signed by the states with a Caspian coast.
An unverified video circulated on Iranian Telegram social media channels, reportedly filmed from the Azerbaijani side of the Aras River that separates Iran and Azerbaijan, shows dozens of Iranian infantry divisions and rocket units moving towards the Parsabad area in Ardabil Province, which borders Azerbaijan.
Another video, put out by the Telegram channel of Miran Press, which is closely aligned with Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), shows dozens of Iranian military trucks heading to the border.