Interview of MP, head of Social Research Center Zahid Oruj to Globalinfo.az.
It is common knowledge that the relations between Iran and Azerbaijan have been chilly lately. In particular, official Tehran keeps stressing the immutability of the borders. What does Iran want from Azerbaijan?
Neither during the tenure of the great leader Heydar Aliyev nor during that of President Ilham Aliyev did the Azerbaijani state make territorial claims against any country. It is no coincidence that this policy was the biggest factor in our victory in the 44-day Patriotic War. We have always taken this line in order to avoid the expansion of states in the regional plane and to gain their possible support.
In the last two years, we have witnessed a clear shift in Iran’s position toward our country. However, in recent months, we have been seeing a peak in the manifestations of this position. Iran, who has not conducted any drills on crossing of the Araz for 30 years and has not aimed guns of its tanks at Baku, is now conducting military exercises targeting our country in simulation programs. Moreover, all the Iranian media resources are full of anti-Azerbaijani messages.
Remarkably, Iran has been doing all this just as millions of people rise up to protest against the Iranian authorities after the death of the young activist Mahsa Amini. It seems that Iran is opening new fronts outside the country to divert attention from the protests.
Unlike official Tehran, Baku has not joined sanctions or coalitions organized by the West and the United States against Iran to this day…
This is indeed true. Azerbaijan has never been an outpost of Western attacks on official Tehran in the past 30 years. Too bad the Iranian authorities underestimate this. Any sane person understands perfectly well what Azerbaijan’s cooperation with the West or negotiations with the US against Iran could entail for that country. But we have never let this happen.
The issue that worries Iran the most about Azerbaijan is undoubtedly our relations with Israel. Do you think that Iran should be worried about Azerbaijan-Israel relations?
The relations between Azerbaijan and Israel are developing at a very high level. We have military, economic, cultural and political ties with Israel. These ties also showed their worth in the 44-day Patriotic War. As for Iran’s concern about Azerbaijan’s relations with Israel, have we even once so far aimed the Harops we receive from Israel at Iran? Of course not. So, Iran has nothing to worry about here.
As you know, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the 9th summit of the Organization of Turkic States in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The speech of the head of state at the summit had quite memorable highlights. For example, Mr. President said that, unfortunately, 40 million Azerbaijanis living outside the Azerbaijani state are deprived of the opportunity to study in schools in their native language…
In his speech at the 9th summit of the Organization of Turkic States in Samarkand, the head of state practically proclaimed the rights and freedoms of our fellow Azerbaijanis as an ideology. The President’s words “We will continue our efforts so that our compatriots, who were separated from the state of Azerbaijan due to bitter fate, preserve our language, traditions, and culture, remain loyal to the ideas of Azerbaijanism, and never cut ties with their historical homeland” also confirm this.
However, these words of the President should by no means be viewed as interference in the internal affairs of Iran. The fact is that international law does not consider human rights an internal matter. Human rights of our compatriots are effectively being violated in Iran.
We must be empathetic to our compatriots who gather in the squares of Iran today. Look, our religious people are already responding to this issue as well. The esteemed Sheikh, too, pointed out that we believe in Allah, not in a religion created by some country.
Consequently, the message Mr. President sent is vital in terms of the new realities shaped in the region after the 44-day Patriotic War, and our country’s strategy.
Translated by Aze.Media