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Why Tehran undermines diplomatic values with its fickle approach? [ANALYSIS]

12 November 2023 08:30 (UTC+04:00)
Why Tehran undermines diplomatic values with its fickle approach? [ANALYSIS]
Elnur Enveroglu
Elnur Enveroglu
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Although Iran is a close neighbor of Azerbaijan in terms of both historical and cultural values, there has always been a certain political clash and conflict of ideas between the two states at many stages of recent history. For example, Iran recognizes Azerbaijan's independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty, however, it has always treated Azerbaijani territories with a dual attitude in certain contexts. This topic has become a special tool for Iran, especially since the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict emerged.

Of course, if we take into account Iran's support to Azerbaijan in some nuances, it would not be correct to direct all the criticism to Iran. For example, in the last few months, Iran's initiative to restore diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan, support to Azerbaijan in opening an alternative transport route to establish a connection between Nakhchivan and Azerbaijan, as well as during the meeting of Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at the 16th OIC meeting in Tashkent, between the two countries mention of historical relations can be positively evaluated. However, the degree to which all this is for Iran and the credibility of Iran in the face of these statements seems to be questionable. It should be noted once again that this does not come from any bias against the Iranian state. This is just a result of Iran's traditional behavior - or let's simply call it misbehavior.

Such a question arises: the President of Iran, while meeting with the President of Azerbaijan in Tashkent, notes that a friendly atmosphere has arisen between the two countries. Moreover, Raisi expresses that he is happy about Azerbaijan's victory in Garabagh, that is, he clearly expresses his satisfaction that Azerbaijan has restored its territorial integrity. It would not be wrong to say that the expressions used by the head of state present the image of that state and its whole body. With his words, Ebrahim Raisi also expressed the views of the Iranian government and all official circles operating within it. This is according to diplomatic rules. However, according to Mahdi Sobhani, Iran's ambassador to Armenia, it is completely different.

I mentioned earlier that Iran is trying to restore diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan and expresses its sincerity in this desire. But if so, why does an Iranian diplomat assigned to Armenia cast a shadow on the sincerity of his country? Two ideas arise here: either Mahdi Sobhani does not want to agree with the Iranian authorities, or there is insincerity in the sincerity of the authorities. Why did the Iranian diplomat change his political course and take an anti-Azerbaijani position while the ambassador was giving an interview on the Civil Net platform of Armenia? Is it fear or a special hatred that comes from inside?

Azerbaijan has always been sincere in diplomacy and has always valued sincere partners. Azerbaijan has close diplomatic relations with Israel, Russia, and a number of leading and powerful political countries. For example, Israel did not make concessions to Armenia even once during the Second Garabagh War by taking a step against Azerbaijan. No matter how much Russia showed hospitality to Armenia, it treated Azerbaijan's sovereign territories with utmost respect in the processes related to Garabagh. Even the West, which tried to interfere with the processes in the South Caucasus from the opposite position, eventually admitted that Azerbaijan was the rightful party. If proxy countries such as France, Canada, and Germany come to Armenia and express biased views against Azerbaijan, what name can be given to the ambassador of a close neighboring country like Iran expressing views against Azerbaijan from Armenia? Then what is the difference between Iran and those countries?

Iran should know that relations are always mutual. If there are double standards in diplomacy, it will not be accepted in any case, and this kind of attitude will definitely show its negative effect at some point.
Today, Iran expresses its satisfaction with the opening of the Aghband road between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan. Who knows, at some point Iran may change its mind in this direction and use this path as a political tool. Although this is just a subjective approach, Iran's current position gives reason to believe it.

In a word, we can note that Azerbaijan is currently continuing its efforts to open the Zangazur corridor or road in parallel. A peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan is inevitable, and there is no other option. As a state, Armenia should participate in economic cooperation between the South Caucasus states. Western countries already accept and support this. All issues in Garabagh have been put to an end - old ideas have been left behind. Moving towards new perspectives has become the main priority for Armenia. In this regard, the readiness of the Zangazur road for full use prepares a new stage for Armenia-Azerbaijan economic relations. This has many political and economic implications: stability is created in the South Caucasus, transport dependence is eliminated, economic development is accelerated and it becomes sustainable. This is exactly what Azerbaijan wants.

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Elnur Enveroglu is AzerNews’ Deputy Editor-in-Chief, follow him on @ElnurMammadli1

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