Iran begins war games near the Azerbaijan border.

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News: Iran’s Army started the drills on the Azerbaijan border to display their military capabilities as they are skeptical about Azerbaijan’s ties with the West, especially with Israel. Read the news here.

Let’s understand in simple language:

Iran’s National Army started its army drills near the Azerbaijan border. Iran occasionally holds such events to assess combat readiness and demonstrate capabilities. Artillery, drones, and helicopters are used in the drills. Iran and Azerbaijan share a border of around 700 kilometers (430 miles).

However, the exercise comes amid escalating tensions along the border. Iran is wary of Azerbaijan in particular for its deep military cooperation with its rival Israel. Azerbaijan and Israel have strengthened their military alliance in recent months, with Israeli-supplied high-tech drones helping Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region last year.

What’s important for UPSC?

From the UPSC perspective, the political and physical map of the two countries and their vicinity becomes important. As UPSC has the habit of asking questions in Prelims about the conflict regions in the world.

Capital of Iran: Tehran

Capital of Azerbaijan: Baku

About Iran:

Iran also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran is a country in Western Asia.  It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan, to the southeast by Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq.

About Azerbaijan:

Azerbaijan, the nation and former Soviet republic is bounded by the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains, which span Asia and Europe. Its capital, Baku, is famed for its medieval walled Inner City. Officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is a country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the South Caucasus region, and is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia and Turkey to the west, and Iran to the south. Baku is the capital and largest city.

Iran – Azerbaijan Border:

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict:

*Remember this conflict is not between Iran and Azerbaijan but between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is an ethnic and territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, inhabited mostly by ethnic Armenians, and seven surrounding districts, inhabited mostly by Azerbaijanis until their expulsion during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War, which are de facto controlled by the self-declared Republic of Artsakh but are internationally recognized as de jure part of Azerbaijan.

The conflict has its origins in the early 20th century, though the present conflict began in 1988 when the Karabakh Armenians demanded that Karabakh be transferred from Soviet Azerbaijan to Soviet Armenia. The conflict escalated into a full-scale war in the early 1990s which later transformed into a low-intensity conflict following the end of the war, later escalating into another full-scale war in 2020.

UPSC MCQs : Questions related to the topic

Q. The countries bordering Iran are

  1. Afghanistan

2. Iraq

3. Tajikistan

4. Armenia

5. Syria

Select the correct code:

a) 1, 2, 3

b) 1, 2, 4

c) 1, 2, 3, 4

d) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ans – B

Q. Which following waterbody lies to the north of Iran?

A. Black Sea

B. Caspian Sea

C. Red Sea

D. Marmara Sea

Ans – B

Q. Which following waterbody lies to the immediate south of Iran?

A. the Persian Gulf

B. Red Sea

C. Gulf of Aden

D. Marmara Sea

Ans – A

Q. Which country does not share a land border with Iran?

A. Turkmenistan

B. Armenia

C. Turkey

D. Uzbekistan

Ans – D

Q. Which country does shares a land border with Iran?

A. Azerbaijan

B. Georgia

C. Uzbekistan

D. Tajikistan

Ans – A

Q. Which one of the following waterbodies lies east of Azerbaijan?

A. Black Sea

B. Caspian Sea

C. Red sea

D. Aegean Sea

Ans – B

Q. Which one of the following nations does not share a border with Azerbaijan?

A. Russia

B. Georgia

C. Iran

D. Turkey

Ans – D

Q. From which one of the following nations Azerbaijan got its independence in 1991?

A. Soviet Union

B. United Kingdom

C. Germany

D. France

Ans – A

Q. Consider the following statements regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict:

1. It is a territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. 
2. Recently Russia has conducted a new peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan over this dispute. 
3. It is a significant gain for Armenia as it has reclaimed over 15-20 percent of its lost territory during the recent conflict.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 and 3 only

B. 2 and 3 only

C. 1 and 2 only

D. 2 only

Ans – C

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