Azerbaijani nationalists have announced the formation of a Front for the National Independence of Southern Azerbaijan, the TURAN agency reported April 25. “Southern Azerbaijan” is Baku’s term for region in northern Iran populated by the 20 million ethnic Azerbaijanis. Although this move was sponsored by former Azerbaijani president Abulfaz Elcibey and the republic’s Popular Front, current Azerbaijani president Heidar Aliyev may welcome it for the pressure it puts on Tehran and through Tehran on Moscow to back away from the tilt of both capitals toward Armenia. Meanwhile, the Armenian authorities have replied to this latest chess move with one of their own: they have reached agreement with Iran to build a highway linking the two countries, Golos Armenii said May 4.
Russian Support for Dushanbe Decried.