Red Lines and Green Lights: Iran’s Balancing Policy in the South Caucasus


  • Anna Gevorgyan CCCS



After the Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020, some Iranian political statements that support Armenia's security interests and ongoing "wars of words" between Iran and Azerbaijan led to the development of a theory in the international (including Armenian) scientific and analytical community that Iran has fundamentally altered its stance toward the South Caucasus states. This tendency had a substantial impact on Armenia’s public perception of Iran. As a vivid example, Iran is considered as Armenia's most significant security partner by 54% of questioned Armenians, according to a 2023 survey conducted by the International Republican Institute.

This article explains Iran's broad geopolitical and security interests in the region and Iran’s balance of power approach via analyzing Iran-Azerbaijan relations using the theory of Cautious Realism. The article demonstrates that Iran's goals and interests in the region have not changed, and it continues its balancing policy and in relations with Azerbaijan uses tools of creating contra threats, as well as rapprochement.


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How to Cite

Gevorgyan, A. (2023). Red Lines and Green Lights: Iran’s Balancing Policy in the South Caucasus. Analytical Bulletin, 16.