Nov 24, 2021
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Aliyev will be punished: Tehran announced the return to the “homeland” of Azerbaijan

Aliyev will be punished: Tehran announced the return to the

Photo: Tom Schneider /

The Tehran newspaper Shargh, which is backed by influential reformist clerics of the Ayatollah regime, sent a black mark to Aliyev. She writes: “Northern Azerbaijan should be reunited with the ‘Iranian homeland’ after its forcible incorporation into the Russian Empire in the 19th century.”

As you know, before the Russian-Persian wars in the 19th century, the khanate of (Iranian) Azerbaijan was de jure part of today’s Iran. After the Qajar Persia, with a multiple numerical advantage, lost outright to the Russian Empire, it ceded to Moscow all its territories in the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia, first under the Gulistan Treaty of 1813, and then under the Turkmanchay Treaty of 1828.

We also note that the territories of present-day Azerbaijan to the north of the Aras River were not known under the name Azerbaijan before they were incorporated into Russia. After the collapse of the USSR, a completely new state arose on the world map without the experience of independence, but with historical skeletons in the closet.

Meanwhile, both in Baku and Tehran, the recent Soviet republic is increasingly called Northern Azerbaijan, less numerous than the southern one, which is part of Iran. Now, according to the Ayatollah regime, the former Persian province of the powerful Russia is not needed. Moscow is pursuing an openly dysfunctional policy towards Baku, as evidenced by the rapprochement Alieva and Erdogan

So, as Shargh writes, the time has come for the Iranians to return to their historical homeland a piece of Azerbaijan that was torn off by the “evil Russian tsars.” Moreover, this must be done “correctly”, since the external threat, on the contrary, will rally Azerbaijanis around Aliyev. That is why Tehran refused to use force, although not long ago it brought as many troops to the Azerbaijani border as it would have been enough to capture this Caucasian state in a week.

As a reminder, relations between the two neighboring countries escalated after the arrest of two Iranian drivers – Barzegara Gazanfara and Nouruzi Heydar for the smuggling of goods to Karabakh, as well as for illegal crossing of the border of Azerbaijan. But in view of the obvious military superiority of the Ayatollah regime, according to Iranian bloggers, Aliyev not only freed the detainees, but allegedly asked the Israelis to leave their Sitalchay base, from which attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities could theoretically be directed.

After that, tensions between Tehran and Baku subsided, and the saber-rattling of Iranian weapons at the border ceased, as did the hostile rhetoric on the part of Aliyev and Chairperson… You can also remember that the foreign ministers of Iran and Azerbaijan on November 5 in a telephone call accused some “ill-wishers” in an attempt to ignite a war between “brotherly” countries.

In fact, the positions of the two countries have not changed. Azerbaijan, excited by an unexpected easy victory over Armenia, is pushing its line on de facto unification with Turkey. The goal is the same: the creation of the so-called Zangezur corridor (“Syunik corridor”) – roads about 40 km long and 5 km wide through the territory of the Syunik region of Armenia. Without this, the Artsakh war cannot be considered completely winning.

By the way, it was here on November 14-15 that the fiercest battles took place after the signing of a trilateral agreement last fall between Baku, Yerevan and Moscow. All that the Azerbaijanis could do was to seize several square kilometers of disputed territories near Lake Sevlich – then the already generally recognized territory of Armenia, falling under the “umbrella” of the CSTO.

This means that the Nakhichevan enclave, which has a tiny section of the Turkish border, will remain isolated from Azerbaijan. Moreover, Shiite Muslims of the Jafarite madhhab live here, i.e. actually controlled by the Iranian clerics.

Of course from Nikola Pashinyan any betrayal of national interests can be expected, as was the case during the failed war for Nagorno-Karabakh. But even he will not surrender southern Armenia, which means that Azerbaijan, as it was, and remained without real military support from Turkey.

In addition, Erdogan, no matter how much Aliyev wants it, is not omnipotent. The leader of the Turkic world has his own “red lines”. “Turkey also understands that in case of further deterioration of relations, Iran can use its ties with the Kurdish Workers’ Party against Ankara. It would be wise for politicians in Baku to realize the limits of Turkish support in any potential future conflict with Tehran, ”the political scientist writes. Eldar Mamedov, Advisor to the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.

According to Mammadov, Aliyev did a great stupidity when he actually banned the transit of Iranian goods through the conquered territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. We are talking about a small 20-kilometer section of the highway from the Norduz border crossing to Yerevan (400 km long).

Experienced clerics, seasoned in political battles with the United States and Israel, have clearly outlined their plans: Tehran will take part in the construction of an alternative road to Armenia. Deputy Minister of Roads and General Director of the Iranian State Transport Infrastructure Development Company Khairullah Khademi leads a delegation in Yerevan to resolve issues on the construction of a transit road called “Tattoo”.

This also means that the Ayatollah regime has included Aliyev and his government on the list of their mortal enemies (they simply cannot do otherwise), which, given the powerful Shiite religious community in Azerbaijan, does not bode well for the current local elites.

According to the Eurasia Review portal, “the split between Shiites and Sunnis in this country is much stronger than many outside observers imagine: about 60% of the population are Shiites and 40% are Sunnis.” Yes, the legacy of the Soviet era led to the fact that official Baku declared its state a secular state. However, ER notes that many Azerbaijanis call mosques “Turkish” or “Iranian” rather than Sunni or Shiite, preferring the latter as being more understandable and close.

We also add that Iran has vast experience in the formation of pro-Iranian proxy forces. Tehran succeeded in ousting the Sunnis from neighboring Iraq, despite their strong support from wealthy Americans. And Hezbollah actually turned Lebanon into an enclave of Persia on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Plus, Yemen and Syria also consider themselves to be part of the Shiite belt.

“Over the decades of international ostracism, Iran has developed very skillful skills of asymmetric warfare,” states Eldar Mammadov. – The fact that Tehran today lacks reliable confidants or allies in Azerbaijan does not mean that it will not continue trying (to take control of this state). Iran is simply adapting to a political landscape that is different from Lebanon or Iraq. ”

It is difficult to disagree with this, if only because, even in Iranian Azerbaijan, the mood is growing on the return of Azerbaijan to Iran.

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