This time, Armenian Telegram channels are spreading another fake with far-reaching goals: allegedly Iran is pulling its troops to the border with Azerbaijan, namely to the “Karabakh” sector of it, where the situation has escalated dramatically. They also include a video, which is unclear and fuzzy in every sense, making it very difficult to tell when and where it was actually filmed.
Forget the “military ABCs” that say that putting troops on alert near a “smoldering” or “heating up” conflict is a standard procedure. A large-scale redeployment of troops is not something that can be reliably concealed in the 21st century with its satellite technologies. Especially if we are talking about a country like Iran, which is being watched—very closely—by many countries. But none of our sources, far more reliable and better informed than Armenian Telegram channels, confirm this version.
But what did Yerevan need this cheap trick with clumsy fakes for? Obviously, with Operation Vengeance in Karabakh, the elimination of the military unit in the village of Kheyvali, the restoration of Azerbaijan’s control over important strategic heights, including Girkhgiz and Saribaba, and the response of the Russian peacekeepers that was far from what Yerevan expected, the Armenian audience is in dire need of some comforting news. So, a piece of dummy information of the “now Iran will stand up for us” variety will do just fine. But in fact, the idea is much more serious. Armenia relies not so much on the fake itself as on the reaction of the Azerbaijani side to these stories. And with these fakes and our reaction to them, they expect to drive a wedge into the relations between Baku and Tehran.
Recent updates from the Iranian track have been disappointing for the Armenian audience, to say the least. Especially in view of the hopes that Yerevan pinned and continues to pin on Iran. But Tehran is not only reluctant to aggravate the situation on its northern borders in addition to all the burning issues and hot-button topics in its own politics, much less in a hurry to do so when the grand prize goes to Armenia rather than to Iran itself. Yerevan is seriously concerned with the recent transport and logistics agreements between Baku and Tehran, which also mention an alternative to the Zangezur corridor. For Armenia, that would be a disaster: in this case Azerbaijan gets the coveted transport link with the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, while Armenia remains in the same transport isolation, having dragged out the issue of the “corridor” far too long. It also gives Azerbaijan grounds to raise the issue of the Lachin corridor, which should have the same status as the Zangezur corridor. And now it seems that Armenia has chosen to disrupt all these trends in a simple and reliable way: launch fake news about “troops redeployment”, provoke Azerbaijan to take hostile action against Iran and wait for the transport arrangements that frightened Armenia so much to fall apart.
However, they overlooked a couple of things. Firstly, there is something called fact-checking. Secondly, and most importantly, it is unlikely that anyone anywhere in the world, let alone in Azerbaijan, will take the reports of Armenian Telegram channels as the ultimate truth and allow themselves to be manipulated like this on such an important political track.
Of course, an inflated self-esteem does boost the ego, but one should not entirely trust it. It seems, however, that the Armenian “information war strategists” have not yet grasped this simple truth. But that is not our problem.
Translated from Minval.az