WT: Sargsyan's inflammatory rhetoric causes concern in Washington

Tue 18 April 2017 10:27 GMT | 14:27 Local Time

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The possible installation of nuclear warheads on the Iskander missiles received by Armenia threatens a nuclear war in the region.

“The Caucasus Mountains that run between the Black and Caspian Seas could soon turn into a nuclear flash point because of dangerous saber-rattling by Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan. Armenia has illegally claimed territory in western Azerbaijan, an assertion backed by military offensives against Azerbaijan, including a massacre of 600 citizens in 1992. Sadly now, Armenia may be taking the region to the brink of nuclear war”, the article published in the US edition Washington Times says.

The author states that Armenia received the Iskander missile system from Russia last autumn.

"It was a major provocation meant to send a message to Azerbaijan and NATO ally Turkey. This is consistent with Moscow’s policy of using missile deployments in Eurasia and the Middle East to threaten western interests", the edition says.

The autor also notes that Iskander missiles are capable of being fitted with nuclear warheads. The paper states that Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan began to threaten the Azerbaijani side, saying that the Armenian side could strike a missile attack on the infrastructure of Azerbaijan.

"This new round of warmongering is troubling in several respects and raises tensions in Baku and throughout the region. In addition to unnerving Armenia's neighbors, Sargsyan’s statements raised concerns in Washington, D.C. The Jamestown Foundation recently held a panel discussion on Capitol Hill to address the danger posed by Armenia’s deployment of the Iskander missiles, writing that the new weapons “threaten European stability, put U.S. allies at risk and potentially violate the 1988 [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces] Treaty”, the edition writes. 

According to the author, Sargsyan’s inflammatory rhetoric destroys the myth propagated by separatists that the Armenian-seized Azerbaijani territory is an independent republic.

“Rather, the region which was occupied belongs to Azerbaijan and is now a staging area for missiles pointed at the rest of Azerbaijan. It is also clear that Sargsyan is using the missiles as a political weapon.Armenia’s president is seeking to stir his nationalistic supporters against Azerbaijan to increase voter turnout in elections. He is rejecting bids from more sober leaders in Armenia, including former President Levon Ter-Petrossian, for a plan that would reduce tensions between the two nations”, the article reads.

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