An Armenian newspaper in the United States published an opinion piece that urged the use of universally banned weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) against Azerbaijan and its civilian population, The Daily Sabah writes.
The piece by Stepan Altounian called on the Armenian government to use any nuclear weapon available to turn the Azerbaijani capital Baku into a “wasteland for the next 5,000 years.”
“I, as probably all Armenians, was devastated but not necessarily surprised over the news that Armenia lost to the Azeris,” Altounian wrote, referring to Armenia’s Nov. 10 surrender to Azerbaijan in the conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the occupation of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994. That war left not only Nagorno-Karabakh itself but large chunks of the surrounding lands in Armenian hands.
In 44 days of heavy fighting that began on Sept. 27, the Azerbaijani military routed Armenian forces and wedged deep into Nagorno-Karabakh, forcing Armenia to accept a Russia-brokered peace deal that took effect Nov. 10. The agreement saw the return of a significant part of Nagorno-Karabakh under Azerbaijan’s control and also requested Armenia to hand over all of the Azerbaijani territories it held outside the region.
In the controversial piece, endorsed and published by the Armenian media group Asbarez, Altounian asked, “Where was the nuclear option?” at a time when governments and the United Nations are urging nuclear disarmament.
“Why not take the nuclear waste from Metsamor and manufacture dirty bombs?” he wrote.
“Please do not tell me about weapons of mass destruction when the Turks and Azeris used them against civilians without any repercussion from anyone,” he claimed without providing any basis for the statement.
“Two can play that game and we should. It will definitely make them think twice if we could turn Baku into a radioactive wasteland for the next 5,000 years,” he said.
Charges that Turkey and Azerbaijan used banned weapons against Armenia have never been reported by U.N. agencies or independent media outlets.