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Iran's saber-rattling or what message Iran’s freshest border provocation carries

14 March 2023 16:30 (UTC+04:00)
Iran's saber-rattling or what message Iran’s freshest border provocation carries
 Fuad Muxtar-Aqbabali
Fuad Muxtar-Aqbabali
Read more
  • No end in sight to Tehran's anti-Azerbaijani provocations
  • What is behind Iran's dissatisfaction with Azerbaijan?
  • The January 27 attack on the nation's Tehran embassy display of enmity
  • Nizami Ganjavi Forum & Baku visit of Israeli intelligence minister a thorn in Iran's flesh

Hardly a day goes by without Iran’s fresh provocations against Azerbaijan and expectations are at the lowest ebb that the Tehran regime would give up harassment and disrespect for Azerbaijan's sovereignty.

Relations between Tehran and Baku have been severely strained following the 2020 victory of Azerbaijan over Armenia in the second Karabakh war which led to the de-occupation of the nation's lands retained under occupation for nearly 30 years.

Outlines of Tehran’s anti-Azerbaijani policies have come to the fore after Baku’s victory over Yerevan in the second Karabakh war, and it would be logical to see Iran’s satisfaction with justice served by the winner as the four UNSC Resolutions, calling for Armenia’s withdrawal from the occupied lands, fell on deaf ears until 2020.

Independent Azerbaijan has always remained loyal to good-neighborly ties, and respect for Iran’s interests has never been disregarded though rumors were rife that third countries wanted to use Azerbaijani lands for strikes at Tehran. Whenever such issues hit the headlines, the Azerbaijani leadership categorically denied the possibility of allowing a third nation to use its land as a platform. Nevertheless, the post-war realities of 2020 laid bare Iran’s hypocritical approaches toward the state of affairs, and discrepancy in actions and words when it comes to Islamic solidarity under the aegis of Islamic values.

Although Baku maintains normal relations with all countries irrespective of their geographical locations by implementing a balanced policy, Iran does not give up its hostile relations vis-à-vis Azerbaijan. The regime in Iran has always supported Armenia in the Karabakh issue and prevented Azerbaijan from liberating its own lands from occupation by all means. Iran aided and abetted Armenia in committing wide-ranging provocations during the second Karabakh war, provided Armenia with intelligence information, and gave technical support, letting third nations use its airspace in delivering weapons and necessary equipment. During the war, the Tehran regime even committed various provocations on the border in order to hinder Azerbaijan's military operations. After Azerbaijan’s historic victory, Iran’s hostile position against Azerbaijan has become stronger and outright.

The 27 January 2023 armed attack on the nation’s Tehran embassy and the killing of a security chief and wounding of two staff security officers once more proved Iran’s resolute position to go ahead with the enmity against independent Azerbaijan. Today, most Azerbaijanis perceive Iran as an unreliable neighbor as well as a country that betrays Islamic values. Iran is openly biased against Azerbaijan and continues its provocations. On January 30, Azerbaijan suspended its embassy's operations in Tehran. Baku was angered by the inadequate protection Tehran provided for its diplomats and consular staff.

Iran supports Armenians, who kept pigs in Karabakh mosques for 30 years. Iran is an unreliable neighbor and has nothing in common either with Islamic or global values. For 30 years, it claimed to recognize Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, but in reality, supported the aggressor Armenia, supplied it with oil and food in exchange for the plundering of Karabakh’s natural resources, and thus prevented the achievement of peace.

Fresh provocation

Iran has endless provocations and plots in stock against Azerbaijan, and the March 11 saw one of them when an Iranian military jet flew along the state border between the two countries.

The jet flew non-stop for half an hour along the border from Azerbaijan's south-western Zangilan District to south-eastern Bilasuvar District and back between 0544 and 0626 gmt, the Azerbaijani Foreign and Defense Ministries said in a joint statement.

The flight of the outdated Iranian jet with fresh paint is a provocation and unfriendly behavior against Azerbaijan, and Baku flatly condemned Iran’s provocative step, urging it to provide an explanation and refrain from these kinds of provocative steps in the future.

On March 11, Iran's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Seyyed Abbas Mousavi was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and was presented with a note of protest.

Nizami Ganjavi event & Israeli intelligence minister's Baku visit thorn in mullahcracy's flesh

The March 11 border jet incident came when Baku was hosting the 10th Global Baku Forum on “The World of Today: Challenges and Hopes” in anticipation to offer, as President Ilham Aliyev said, “most important recommendations about the new approaches to international affairs” but Iran remained loyal to own plots and subversive acts to spoil the agenda.

The border incident on March 11 happened when Israeli Minister of Intelligence Gila Gamliel was in Baku to attend the 10th Global Baku Forum, where she said Iran was a threat to regional stability in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was also in Baku to attend the forum, said that Iranians should be very careful before starting any confrontation with Azerbaijan. He added that Iran is a very aggressive country and that everything must be done to protect those who are threatened by Iran and this includes Azerbaijan.

The flight of the military aircraft for more than half an hour near the liberated territories of Azerbaijan was a provocation and unfriendly behavior towards Azerbaijan. Last year Iran also conducted large-scale military exercises along the Araz River near the borders of Azerbaijan.

Iran has resorted to another provocation with a documentary shot by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) portraying Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi as a dervish, reciting a poem about Iran.

Earlier, at the opening ceremony of the Nizami Ganjavi Week in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said that Ganja was an "Iranian city" and Nizami was an "Iranian poet from the Persian nobility".

However, Azerbaijanis know that Nizami Ganjavi is a great Azerbaijani romantic poet, one of the greatest poets of the medieval east. Nizami Ganjavi was born, lived, and died in Ganja, hence his nickname Ganjavi.

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