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Oct 19, 2021
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What Aliyev sacrificed to prevent Iran from attacking Azerbaijan

What Aliyev sacrificed to prevent Iran from attacking Azerbaijan

Photo: Zuma / TASS

“The exercises conducted by our country in the border areas in the northwest … are a matter of sovereignty,” said an official spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Said Khatibzade in a statement posted on the ministry’s website. He also added that Tehran “will take all measures it deems necessary for its national security.”

Observers and experts note that the global sanctions against Iran created a difficult socio-economic situation within the country, but politically, this gave Shiite “hawks” and Orthodox clerics an advantage at home.

But now Tehran is supposedly more cautious with regard to Baku, writes the Jordanian website Al Bawaba. Ayatollah Regime Needs Reputation Victory and Concessions Alieva, not a war with Baku. The fact is that Iran is already facing internal tensions with ethnic groups such as the Ahwazi Arabs living in Balochi in the southeast, with the Kurds in the northwest and, possibly, now with Iranian Azerbaijanis in the north.

However, another Arab news portal Arab News in this regard emphasizes that one should not exaggerate the Azerbaijani factor inside the 84-million Iran, which “has about 10 million members of the Azerbaijani-speaking community.” That is, there is no talk of any 30% and even more so 40%. We add that this year alone Tehran expects to increase the population of its country by 1 million people, mainly at the expense of Shiite families.

In any case, in the Iranian newsfeed, the conflict with Azerbaijan faded into the background, which is undoubtedly connected with the beginning of a diplomatic thaw between the two countries. The foreign ministers of Iran and Azerbaijan, with the blessing of their leaders, are doing everything to ease the tension that has arisen between the two sides over the past month.

13 October Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov held telephone conversations with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdullah… According to sources in both ministries, the parties discussed mutual claims and expressed their readiness to get out of the conflict situation.

“The two countries must prevent misunderstandings in their relations. Tehran and Baku have enemies, and both sides should not give enemies the opportunity to disrupt relations between the two countries, and problems should be resolved through dialogue and cooperation, ”the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following a telephone discussion of existing problems.

A similar statement was made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, unless there were “enemies”. According to Bayramov: “The parties noted the harmful rhetoric observed recently, which does not correspond to the level of friendly relations between our countries.”

Recall that the countries unexpectedly found themselves on the brink of war after the arrest by the Azerbaijani authorities in September of two Iranian truck drivers on the section of the main road that came under Baku’s control after last year’s war in Karabakh.

According to a statement from the Azerbaijani customs service, these two drivers are Barzegar Hagi Jafar Gazanfar and Navruz Shahrud Heydarwere arrested for smuggling goods into Karabakh, as well as for illegally crossing the border of Azerbaijan. Aliyev almost vowed that the violators would end up in prison for years to come for an attempt on his country’s sovereignty. Now Ilham Heydar oglu will have to return them Chairperson, to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), since the Iranian Foreign Ministry has already announced that the detainees will be extradited to their homeland.

Both Bayramov and Amir Abdollahian reported that both sides are working to resolve the transit problem that arose due to the blockade by Azerbaijanis of the Iran-Artsakh and Iran-Armenia routes. The Iranian Foreign Minister said bluntly that Tehran expects that in the future Iranian trucks will travel back and forth (to Stepanakert and to the south of Armenia) as before, that is, without any restrictions. You have to understand, without inspection and payment.

But the statement of Azerbaijan says about this in a slightly different way: “It was decided to discuss issues related to transit traffic through the Republic of Azerbaijan through direct contacts between the relevant state bodies.” Baku also hopes that Iran will build a direct road through southern Armenia to Iran, which would bypass the territory of Azerbaijan. By the way, Tehran has already announced the development of this project, and at its own expense.

On October 13, Ilham Aliyev, in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, commenting on the Iranian transit to Stepanakert, was extremely soft and delicate, despite the previously made threatening statements “not to let it go and will not tolerate it.”

The President of Azerbaijan said: “Please pay attention to this illegal business activity of Iranian businessmen in Karabakh. We weren’t in a position to blame [иранское] government. We realized that some private companies are doing this. But we asked to stop it. Everyone can see what happened in response. “

Yes, everyone can see: Iran has brought as many troops to the Azerbaijani border as it would have been enough to capture Azerbaijan in a week. In this regard, there is no doubt that Baku’s progress is connected with the fact that none of the major players guarantees direct military intervention on the side of Aliyev, if, God forbid, a war broke out between the two neighbors.

However, Azerbaijanis do not give up hope to save face in this difficult situation for them. If we leave aside sympathies and antipathies, then Baku really has the right to its own rules in its country. Judging by the latest statements by Aliyev, he wants to reserve the right to inspect Iranian trucks, they say, in addition to commercial cargo, they also carry drugs. He is also trying to preserve something like a road tax as a mechanism to protect his sovereignty.

The Times of Israel, Tel Aviv’s mouthpiece, reports that Baku and Tehran have agreed on something secretly. Yes, now there is a petty political bargaining around transit, but it is very likely that Iran as a whole is satisfied with the behind-the-scenes negotiations. There are even rumors among Iranian bloggers that Aliyev nevertheless asked the Israelis to leave his Sitalchay base, from which attacks on nuclear facilities of the Ayatollah regime could allegedly be directed. If this is true, then Baku has fulfilled the most important requirement of Tehran, and can afford to be a little capricious about the transit issue.

Anyway, the Iranian ambassador to Baku Seyed Abbas Mousavi has already stated that Iranian military companies will help Azerbaijanis to clear the “liberated areas during the Second Karabakh War” mostly free of charge. In addition, the head of the Iranian presidential administration Mahmoud Vaezi told the press that the good-neighborliness should give impetus to the development of a large number of joint projects, such as the construction of railways and power plants. But all plans will again be in jeopardy if Azerbaijan plays back.

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