Our Analytics 18 may — 16:30

Treacherous blow from Iran to Azerbaijan (Editorial article)

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BY EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

Iranian parliamentarian Mojtaba Zonnour made a sharp attack on neighbouring and generally friendly Azerbaijan. He spoke not with an ornate, slippery, ambiguous statement in the spirit of multifaceted Persian diplomacy, but with a direct and unambiguous, more than hostile statement. Zonnour's swoop could have been ignored, because the history of our uneasy relations with the 'Vatican' of political Shiism is replete with paradoxical zigzags, the volatile nature of the two-faced Persian diplomacy.

However, Dr Mojtaba Zonnour is an outstanding parliamentarian, an iconic figure in the conservative camp of the Iranian theocracy. The author of the angry anti-Azerbaijani philippics is the chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament. In addition, for many years he was the representative of the Supreme Ruler of Iran, Ali Khamenei, in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - the heart of the Iranian state.

Zonnour is an iconic figure in the conservative part of the Iranian elite

And in parliament, Zonnour does not represent an ordinary low-power province put in the grip of sanctioned deprivation, but the Mother See of Qom. Zonnour is a politician who occupies an important place in Iran's national security system.

What important and secret did Zonnur announce that instantly attracted the attention of the Armenian establishment? Although the Armenian media distorted the name of Zonnour to Zolnuri, the meaning of the ominous statement of one of the leading Iranian politicians has not lost its desired meaning.

Zonnour said that 'Iran will not allow its northern borders to be changed.' The independent Azerbaijan Republic is located to the north of Iran. Has the Government of Azerbaijan ever made territorial claims to Iran? The statement looks absurd in its essence and form, contradicting the spirit of Iranian-Azerbaijani relations. After all, the other day, while driving along the border with Iran through the liberated territories, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev significantly pointed to the border with our southern neighbour, expressively and not mysteriously said: 'This is the border of friendship!'

However, the Iranian politician's statement was made in the context of Azerbaijan's grandiose victory in the war with Armenia, the liberation of Karabakh and the current policy of official Baku to implement the delimitation and demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border.

'The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran is very clear and decisive: we do not accept any changes in the region, the territorial integrity of the countries of the region must be preserved. We also do not accept any trans-regional power at our borders,' said Zonnour.

After all, Ilham Aliyev proclaimed the border with Iran 'the border of friendship'

The Iranian politician accurately voices the main principles of the Azerbaijani foreign policy doctrine. Azerbaijan too has resolutely opposed and continues to oppose systemic changes in the region. In addition, the territorial integrity of states is an inviolable and sacred principle of international law for a country that has become a victim of Armenian expansionism and artificially nurtured separatism. It seems that everything that Zonnour voices fully fits into the idea of ​​Azerbaijani foreign policy, in particular, on the formation of a trans-regional power. After all, Azerbaijan has proclaimed the concept of non-alignment as the basis of its national security and system of relations with all actors of the new world order. And Azerbaijan opposes the formation of a certain trans-regional power that threatens the regional security system that has been established over the past decade.

But further revelations of Zonnour shed light on the perfidious, insidious and treacherous meaning of the statement addressed to Azerbaijan.

'If they want to take a part of the territory of Armenia and our borders undergo changes, that is, against this background we will have a new neighbour, this is unacceptable for us. The borders existing between Iran and Armenia must be protected and fully preserved,' the Iranian politician says slyly.

What does Zonnour mean? And why should the borders of Armenia with Iran be subject to changes? What is unacceptable for Iran?

Zonnour's insidious and tricky speech is dedicated to the latest events on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the Zangezur region. In any case, this is how the Iranian and Armenian media interpret the words of the Iranian official. The demarcation of the border with Armenia, according to Zonnour, poses a danger to the interests of Iran and Armenia. Because it allegedly violates the territorial integrity of Armenia. And in the future, it threatens the inviolability of Iran.

Zonnour supported Armenian expansionism, calling the territory of Azerbaijan contested by Armenia - the area around Lake Garagol - the territory of modern Armenia

The boorish speech of the Iranian hypocrite is devoid of any logic and meaning. The territory contested by Armenia around Lake Garagol, judging by the political maps of the Soviet period, is part of Azerbaijan. And this fact is not disputed even by Russia - Armenia's military-political ally. Just the day before, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a demand for strict compliance with the requirements of the Trilateral Agreement of November 10. Is Iran, sharing the position of some Western countries, primarily France, in favour of revising the requirements of that peace agreement?

Why does Iran, while verbally recognising the integrity of Azerbaijan, casts doubt on part of its sovereign territories? Moreover, the Iranian political elite, through the lips of a very significant political figure, incites Armenia to decisive action. According to Zonnour, Armenia is competent to ensure its territorial integrity. But why does Zonnur include Azerbaijani territory into Armenia? And on what basis? And how does the de-occupation of Azerbaijani territories pose a threat to Iran?

Although, analysing Iran's policy from the historical perspective of the Karabakh conflict, Zonnour's revelations do not cause shock and amazement. Azerbaijan remembers well how the presidents of Iran embraced the military executioners - Kocharyan and Sargsyan, did not consign to oblivion the Iranian solidarity with the Armenian expansionism - the lines of trucks during the war with the help for the fraternal Armenian people. Azerbaijan remembers too well the silence of Iranian politicians about the occupied Azerbaijani lands that lasted for a quarter of a century. To be more precise, there is a very tolerant attitude towards the aggressive policy against Azerbaijani Muslims. Iran has a kind of bifurcated and cynical notion of the Islamic ummah and solidarity, which is fuelled only by the interests of the nation-state.

And it is regrettable if Zonnour expresses the consolidated position of the entire Iranian political elite. It is regrettable for the very theocratic elite of the country, in which tens of millions of Azerbaijanis are unanimous with a just war against a country steeped in the blood of thousands of Azerbaijanis.

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