Staunton, June 6 – New US sanctions against Iran and intended to block its development of rail links to Armenia, Russia and Europe are the latest iteration of “the Goble Plan” that threatens both Iranian interests and those of Armenia in particular and Russia more generally, according to Russian commentator Aleksey Baliyev.
Efforts by the US to block the development of these links perhaps inevitably has always been tied up with discussions of how the Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan might be resolved, he continues. In fact, that is how the first “Goble Plan” was presented (kavkazgeoclub.ru/content/plan-gobla-3-i-vtorostepennyy-front-ssha-v-zakavkaze
“Nevertheless,” Baliyev says, Ovaninisyan says the US pushed it again at the end of the 1990s and it was even discussed by the Armenian National Security Council on the even of the mass murder of members of the Armenian government and parliament on October 27, 1999.” That forced the West to shelve the plan but hasn’t ended its interest in it.
Now, Baliyev continues, “the plan” has resurfaced as part of the American sanctions regime against Iran and Washington’s desire to isolate Iran from its northern neighbors. He suggests on the basis of a Regnum report that I am pushing it given my suggestions about a two-tier approach to negotiations over Karabakh (regnum.ru/news/polit/2635230.html).
But Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan, at least “officially,” has said that Yerevvan will not even discuss any formula of “’territory for peace.’” Nonetheless, Baliyev says, the interest of the US in containing Iran and of Azerbaijan in regaining control of territories it views as historically its own are keeping the plan alive, perhaps in yet another version.