Amid Supreme Leader's controversial remarks, Iran set to boost bilateral ties with Azerbaijan
By Sabina Mammadli
Iran is on track to facilitate relations with Azerbaijan, which can be seen in the development of different spheres between the two countries, Azernews reports.
In this regard, Iran’s determination to expand relations with Azerbaijan in all areas was pointed out at a meeting Iran's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Seyyed Abbas Mousavi had with his Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on July 24.
At the meeting, the ambassador reported to the minister on the latest developments in the bilateral ties between Tehran and Baku.
In turn, Amir-Abdollahian pointed to the importance of ties with neighboring countries, especially Muslim nations.
He said that the Azerbaijani Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran have lots of untapped potential for broadening relations, and it is among the embassy’s tasks to find them out and use them for the expansion of bilateral ties.
Despite this policy, the recent statement by Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, triggered wide-ranging discussions on social media networks in Azerbaijanis.
In a Twitter post, Khamenei wrote that the Islamic Republic would not tolerate policies or plans that lead to the closure of the Iran-Armenia border as it is a "thousands of years old communication path".
Later, several other religious representatives confirmed his statement.
In particular, Imam of the Tehran Friday Prayers Mohammad-Hassan Aboutorabi Fard stated that Iran is very sensitive to regional changes and will not allow damage to a road that is “thousands of years old and which acts as one of the factors of strengthing security and peace of the peoples of the region”.
Similarly, the representative of the Supreme Leader in Ilam Province and Imam of Friday Prayer Allahnur Karimitabar noted that the issue of the Armenian-Iranian border was highlighted during the visit of the presidents of Turkey and Russia to Iran.
“They should not even imagine that they can threaten the millennial road and create obstacles for Iran,” the Imam added.
Other representatives made similar speeches during the sermon, conveying the words of their leader to the broad masses of believers.
After liberating its lands from the Armenian occupation in the 44-day war in 2020, Azerbaijan regained control over a 132-km section of the Azerbaijani-Iranian border. The re-establishment of control over the state border opened up new prospects for deeper cooperation between the two countries.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran in 2021 was $440.8 million.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz