Border trespassers arrested in Fuzuli at drug rendezvous

Border trespassers arrested Fuzuli region

April 19, 2021 

Above image credit: “Aras border” by elishka is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

On April 19, the Azerbaijani State Border Service reported that it had detained two trespassers on the Iran border in the newly liberated Fuzuli region

“The incident took place near Fuzuli region’s Gazakhlar village at around 2200 on April 16. The detainees were Iranian citizens Feyzi Yasser Nariman (born 1991) and Husseinpur Sajad Hasan (born 1993),” wrote AzerNews.

As they were detained, Nariman was injured. Azerbaijani border guards used weapons to make the arrest. Nariman was taken to Fizuli Diagnostic Centre for treatment.

Border control found 1,159 tablets and 78 units of a device similar to the “Costed Mikro Politedve when they searched the scene. In addition to the Iranian nationals who were arrested for border violations, Azerbaijani Border Services likewise arrested Fizuli region residents Huseynov Elshan and Saddinov Uvi who had driven to the region to meet the detained Iranian nationals for a drug pickup.

Azerbaijan has resumed surveillance of a 132km strip of formerly occupied borderlands shared between Azerbaijan and Iran following the liberation of the southern border territories at the end of the 44-Day Karabakh conflict.

The incident was reported in foreign media outlets including MENAFN and Sputnik, which referred to the border patrol arrest as an “armed incident.”

Resumed border control by Azerbaijan, estimated affect on Iran, the Jamestown Foundation wrote 

The foreign media has reported in the past few months that the 44-day conflict in Karabakh “as affected Iran in several complex ways,” writes Jamestown Foundation. The foundation wrote that the war temporarily undermined the security of Iran’s northwestern region. Jamestown Foundation noted likewise that Iran has been affected by the status shift of the region from a de facto to de jure state as Azerbaijan successfully reclaimed its legal territories. The foundation noted that the outcome of Azerbaijan’s reclamation of control in the region has opened the Khoda-Afarin Dam’s use between the two nations. 

“Third of all, the outcome of the autumn war means that Iran and the Republic Azerbaijan can now jointly start utilizing the Khoda Afarin Dam, in Jabrayil District, on the Aras River, which straddles their mutual border. This dam was built in 2008 with Tehran’s financial support But the area’s de facto control by Armenian-backed Karabakh (since 1993) prevented Iran from actually exploiting this facility. On December 14, 2020, however, Iranian and Azerbaijani representatives of the Joint Technical Commission on the Khoda-Afarin Dam held a meeting in the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to discuss mutual operations of this hydropower plant (IRNA, December 14),” wrote Jamestown Foundation.

Our take 

The status shift to a de jure control in the liberated region promises greater stability as Azerbaijani border services continue to arrest drug operations and other smuggling rendezvous as seen in the April 16 event. Likewise, the control of the Khoda Aafrin by the Azerbaijani de jure control may open the door to the restoration of infrastructure in the region along Iran’s border. Infrastructure and a renewed interest in hydroelectric development in this geopolitically sensitive region may call on the international community to have a more vocal presence in the forward-looking initiatives of smart and sustainable innovation in this region. 

Keep checking back for more in-depth analysis on these issues.