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Between a rock and hard place: Iran’s dilemma in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Tehran is sending forces to its borders in anticipation of the Armenian-Azeri conflict spilling over.
An Armenian soldier of the self-proclaimed republic of Nagorno-Karabagh aims his Kalashnikov assault rifle as he stands in a trench at the frontline on the border with Azerbaijan near the town of Martakert, on July 6, 2012. EU president Herman Van Rompuy urged last week enemies Armenia and Azerbaijan to end frontline clashes that have raised fears of renewed war over the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh. Armenia-backed separatists seized Karabakh from Azerbaijan in a war in the 1990s that left some 30,00
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In a country where a quarter of the population belongs to the Azeri ethnicity, over 400 miles of border are shared with Azerbaijan and the official version of Islam in both countries is Shiism, it shouldn’t be a very difficult choice to make when the northern neighbor goes to war.

However, there are many reasons for Iran to think twice before siding with Azerbaijan in its recent conflict with Armenia.

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