Our Analytics 16 april — 09:39

Iranian trucks in Karabakh... Azerbaijan should call to account ambassador of Iran!

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EDITORIAL

A few days ago, video frames appeared in the Armenian segment of social networks depicting Iranian -- judging by license plates -- petrol trucks and lorries that are transporting fuel and products to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. A video spread by protesting Armenian bloggers living in Nagorno-Karabakh provoked a fair outrage among the Azerbaijani public. What was the motivation of the opposition bloggers to unveil the sensational video footage: the movement of the echelon of Iranian petrol trucks and lorries along the streets of Khankendi?! An elementary sense of fear of the threat of a pandemic in Karabakh? After all, Iran is one of the main centres of the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, and suddenly hundreds of Iranian drivers -- potential carriers of coronavirus -- appear in the capital of the separatist region.

The Iranian Embassy in Baku tried to refute the undeniable evidence of the supply of strategically important products by the Iranians to the region captured by the Armenians, calling the video frames staged. The diplomatic mission said that 'behind them are forces that do not want development of relations between Tehran and Baku,' and this fake aimed to harm the good-neighbourly relations between the two countries.

But what kind of refutation can there be if earlier the international media and journalists in their reports from Nagorno-Karabakh reported the movement of Iranian trucks in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan? The Iranian embassy's denial of the weighty fact of Tehran's support for the separatists could in no way satisfy the Azerbaijani public. The relations of the Islamic Republic of Iran with Armenia, which is the occupying country, have always provoked angry protest among the predominantly Shiite population of Azerbaijan.

The heart of every Shiite Azerbaijani was bleeding at the thought that it was with the help of Iran that the Armenian occupation regime in Karabakh, under the pretext of the restoration of the Shusha mosque, deformed the architectural feature of the Azerbaijani historical monument. Azerbaijan expressed its natural, angry protest, to which the Iranian side, as in the case of trucks, responded with a denial of the obvious problem. The Armenian authorities played the same tragedy with the hands of architects from Iran with the Irevan mosque.

In fact, under the pretext of restoration of the Shusha mosque, the historical monument was Iranised

All this suggests that the Iranian authorities now only verbally express support for the sovereignty and integrity of Azerbaijan, and in fact they are pursuing the same policy as in the early 1990s, at the beginning of the Karabakh war. The occupying forces of the Armenians at that time one by one were seizing the districts of Azerbaijan, but their resources were running out, and ... the Iranians came to the rescue. Especially tangible this support, with the very same fuel, was in the summer of 1992, when Armenia was in a truly hopeless situation due to the rapid offensive of the Azerbaijani Army in Nagorno-Karabakh. In those days, the Armenian military did not hide the fact that in order not to waste time, Iranian fuel was poured directly into the Armenian army tanks from cars. And later, former President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan admitted in one of his interviews that the Armenian army was then saved only thanks to Iran.

They also remember in Azerbaijan that after the establishment of a ceasefire regime on the Karabakh front, Armenian field commanders, not without Iran's participation, staged a mass looting of everything of value in the occupied territories. All the metal got during the destruction of the infrastructure of Azerbaijani cities and villages, like scrap metal, was massively sent to Iranian factories.

And today, as in the 1990s, Iran feeds Armenia with fuel and food. Armenia officially closed the state border with Iran. In addition, fuel materials from Russia are not delivered to Armenia through the territory of Georgia. However, in conditions of complete alienation, Armenia does not experience any problems due to a shortage of fuel materials. A fair question arises: where does the alienated country get fuel materials from?

And some Iranian businessmen, as well as companies, either directly or through intermediaries, carry out illegal industrial and commercial activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Official Tehran, in this case, denies the obvious truth. However, why did the appearance of Iranian trucks in Karabakh cause a fierce flurry of discussions in the Armenian segment of social networks?

The Azerbaijani side at one time through diplomatic channels expressed to the official Tehran its dissatisfaction with the ongoing events. At the same time, the Azerbaijani state has repeatedly demonstrated its fidelity to peaceful neighbourly relations with Iran. However, an adequate response from the Iranian side practically did not wait. In words, Iran advocates allegedly for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, but maintains a strategic partnership with Armenia and has not made a single statement about the aggressive actions of this country. The Islamic Republic, to put it mildly, never expressed indignation at the fact that the land of another Muslim country with a Shiite population has been under occupation for more than 30 years, which is unacceptable to every Muslim state.

Since 1992, Iran has been helping Armenia

Moreover, Iran's economic activity in the occupied territories is contrary to international standards and corresponds neither to the principles of Shiite unity and Islamic solidarity in general, nor to normal good-neighbourly relations. And as it turns out, Iran is actively contributing to the militarisation of the separatist anti-Azerbaijan regime. Indeed, it is Iranian fuel that is used to fuel military equipment, with which Karabakh is kept under occupation. Indeed, it is precisely this military equipment using Iranian fuel that is actively used in permanent military clashes with Azerbaijan. Official Tehran remains allegedly silent. But along with it, Ardabil mullahs confessors -- the main critics of the Azerbaijani authorities -- are also silent.

And this despite the fact that Azerbaijan never took part in actions directed against Iran, and no matter how difficult it was, did not join the sanctions against it and even openly spoke about the unacceptability of Western pressure. Even in the most critical moments of relations between the West and Iran, the Azerbaijani state said that it would never take part in the persecution of its neighbour, military campaigns and sanctions against it.

On the contrary, Azerbaijan has always striven for close good-neighbourly and partnership relations with Iran and cooperates with it on a number of important regional projects. For some reason, Tehran ignores the fact that several years ago Baku planned to provide Iran with a soft loan of $500 million for the construction of the Astara-Rasht railway within the North-South transport corridor. And today, when the coronavirus pandemic is raging in Iran and the country is suffering from the economic sanctions applied to it, it was Azerbaijan, not Armenia, that extended a helping hand and allocated humanitarian assistance in the amount of $5 million.

And Ilham Aliyev did extend a helping hand ... How long can we suffer?

Just a few days before the video footage of the caravan of Iranian assistance to occupied Karabakh was distributed, Azerbaijan had tried to express moral support for the Iranian people suffering from a pandemic and economic crisis: on 7 April, the building of the Heydar Aliyev Centre was illuminated in the colours of the Iranian flag. In this way, official Baku has shown its support and respect to the Iranian people and state.

And yet, no matter how much official Baku is guided in relations with Iran solely by the principles of good neighbourliness and friendship, no matter how hard it tries to establish friendly relations, an adequate attitude from the opposite side is not observed. Tehran, on the contrary, behaves in relation to Baku in violation of international standards, carrying out industrial development in the occupied territories.

It is clear that for Azerbaijan it will now be naive and shortsighted to ignore the illegal actions of a neighbouring state in its occupied territories and comprehensive support to its adversary.

So where are these principles of the Muslim, Shiite brotherhood, which are constantly being spoken about in the Islamic Republic? Why is Tehran harming the interests of its co-religionists? One would also like to know what actions in this regard were taken by Azerbaijan at the diplomatic level? Was the ambassador of Iran called to the Foreign Ministry of our country? Did they show him the footage of Iranian trucks in Karabakh? Was a note of protest delivered?

The first question should be answered by Iranian spiritual leaders, although such questions remain unanswered for many years. The second, apparently, should be clarified the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan...

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