By Richard Weitz
October 19th, 2015, The CACI Analyst
Although international attention regarding Iran naturally gravitates towards Tehran’s activities in the Persian Gulf and the nuclear realm, Iran is also an active player in the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and Afghanistan. Thanks to its nuclear deal with the great powers, the subsequent relaxation of sanctions, and the growth of regional terrorism and Russian military activism, Iran’s influence in the region is set to grow considerably in coming years, though not necessarily to the benefit of the regional states or their Western partners.
By Erik Davtyan
October 16th, the CACI Analyst
Between September 27 and October 1, an Armenian delegation headed by President Serzh Sargsyan paid a five-day working visit to the U.S. The main item on the agenda was the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, and the visit also included meetings with high officials representing different states, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, representatives of Armenian diaspora, and UN officials.
By Armen Grigoryan
October 13th, 2015, The CACI Analyst
Tensions along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border have intensified from September 24, with skirmishes including the use of heavy artillery by both sides. Tensions have grown to a level where the danger of a large-scale confrontation should be seriously considered. Russia’s specific interests aggravate the situation, while the conflicting sides remain reluctant to seek a compromise solution. In this situation, Armenia and Azerbaijan are under increasing pressure to accept a Russia-led peacekeeping mission to the region.
By Mina Muradova
October 7th, the CACI Analyst
On September 10, 2015, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution calling on Azerbaijan’s authorities to respect to human rights and essential freedoms. According to the resolution, “The overall human rights situation in Azerbaijan has deteriorated continuously over the last few years, with growing intimidation and repression and intensification of the practice of criminal prosecution of NGO leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and other civil society representatives.” European MPs condemned the “unprecedented repression against civil society” in Azerbaijan and urged Azerbaijan to “immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners from jail,” to drop all charges against them and to fully restore their political and civil rights and public image.
By Eka Janashia
October 12th, the CACI Analyst
On September 18, one day after his release from jail, Tbilisi’s city court returned Gigi Ugulava – the leader of opposition United National Movement (UNM) party and former Tbilisi mayor – to prison. The court found Ugulava guilty of misspending public funds and sentenced him to four years and six months in prison. The original sentence implied a nine-year term, but the act of amnesty, adopted by the Georgian parliament in 2012, halved his time in jail.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.