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Turkey rises, Russia fades as Iran and Azerbaijan clash over Armenia

Conflict is looming once again between Armenia and Azerbaijan as regional powers maneuver in the Caucasus.
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SYUNIK, Armenia — A small hotel in Goris, a sleepy tourist resort in the Syunik region in southern Armenia, seems an unlikely backdrop for geopolitical maneuvers between Western powers, Turkey, Russia and Iran. But that is what the Hotel Mirhav, a trio of rustic cottages filled with antique kilims and copperware, has become amid fears of renewed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan from which Iran could emerge the biggest loser.

Numerous families have been sheltering here since Dec. 12, when Azerbaijan effectively cut off access to their native Nagorno-Karabakh, letting a group of self-described Azerbaijani “eco-activists” with no history of environmental advocacy barge through Russian peacekeepers to block the sole road linking the disputed enclave to Armenia.

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