Our Analytics 5 october — 14:01

Will Iran start a war against Azerbaijan? (Main question of the day)



What is happening in Azerbaijan's relations with Iran can be regarded as a cold war with far-reaching consequences. For the third time in the history of the new-born Republic of Azerbaijan, the escalation of confrontation reaches the point of bifurcation, leaving a deep negative imprint on the relations between the two neighbouring countries. As a rule, confrontation does not reach the point of no return. Although a new and most global crisis in the history of relations can lead to a protracted streak of confrontation.

The root of the problem, as I have repeatedly written in my previous articles, is the fundamental attitude of the Iranian theocracy to the place and role of the state of Azerbaijan in the new regional geopolitics, in the so-called 'internal geopolitics.'

Part of Beirut that is under Hezbollah control. This is how Azerbaijan is described by Iran in its dreams

In the views of the Iranian political elite, Shiite Azerbaijan from the day of its foundation appeared in the image of a second Lebanon, a favourable geographical base for containing the pro-Western in the early 1990s and neo-Ottoman after the 'end of history' Turkey -- an eternal strategic rival over the past six centuries -- as well as for an offensive against Central Asian region. In the imagination of narrow-minded Iranian mullahs, Azerbaijan was a historical appendage, an arena for permissiveness of a 'proxy,' a satellite prototype of some Mahdi army. The transformation of the secular pearl of the Greater East into a shabby and awkward large slum, similar to Dahiyeh -- a fetid suburb of Beirut, in which the yellowish thugs from Hezbollah, who control drug routes, operate -- is the ideal image of northern Azerbaijan for Iran.

Skyscraper Baku and secular Azerbaijan are a sacred and cherished dream for millions of Azerbaijanis driven into the medieval darkness on the other side of the Araxes River, cherishing the illusory hope for the longed-for deliverance from religious feudalism in its most disgusting cave form.

Iranian ideologists, who built their philosophy on the denial of Western political modernism, fascist hostility to Jewish national and religious identity and blind denial of the Sunnah of the Prophet and its followers, cultivating the Bedouin lifestyle of the 8th century model, tried to transfer the national movement in Azerbaijan in the early 1990s into the plane of the awakening of religious consciousness. But soon the Iranian ideologists suffered a natural failure.

Iran did not understand that in Azerbaijan the mullah is a character for ridicule

First, the inert worldview, which they tried to impose on the legacy of the Soviet intelligentsia -- on Azerbaijani non-conformists, caused a sharp rejection on the part of the emerging national elite. Second, having failed in an attempt to degenerate the national democratic movement, the Iranian theocracy relied on poorly educated clergy, formed in pseudoscientific Soviet seminaries and the offices of the Bolshevik KGB. Namely, the image of such a clergy formed the basis of the caustic satire of the first Azerbaijani classics, on which several generations were brought up in Northern Azerbaijan. It is already the third century that the comic Shiite mullahs -- the characters of the classics -- cause organic hostility among the people. Mullahs in the Azerbaijani consciousness are identified with the Shiite burial ritual. No more…

In addition, Iranian ideologists and pro-Iranian adherents tried to revive a class of religious philistines from the traditional Shiite pious villages of Absheron and Lankaran -- uneducated crooks who invented for the ignorant masses a hierarchy of social influence of people endowed with the dignity of Karbalai and Mashadi. The honourable position of these townspeople was determined by the opportunity to visit holy places, that is, to purchase a ticket to the cities of Mashhad and Karbala. In Azerbaijan in 1990-1991, getting outside the Iron Curtain, and even touching the tombstone of Shiite martyrs with a narrow forehead, was something unthinkable and an incredible achievement in life. For greater persuasiveness and confidence, these philistines grew long nails on their little fingers, wore silver rings and sorting through the Tasbih prayer beads brought from Iran between their fingers. Ignorant from the point of view of religious education, people touched these dirty beads with their lips, as if to something holy...

Having met the progressive elite born of the national movement on its way, Iran chose this class of philistines and the ignorant marginal mass as its main social base. A striking character of this class was one of the activists of the Popular Front -- Haji Alikram, who later created the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan with Iranian money -- in fact, Tehran's hornet's nest. Iran began to build its political intricacies in Baku, focusing on the poorly educated and poorly brought up riffraff class. However, this rabble was no different from the Black Hundreds who joined the pro-Iranian proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and other parts of the world inhabited by Shiites. A well-developed methodology for recruiting into the steel religious ranks.

Haji Alikram is the leader of the religious philistine class. Iran staked on this class

However, to the great misfortune and disappointment of the Iranian mullahcracy, the society of post-Soviet Azerbaijan for the most part consisted of a progressive passionate part more oriented towards Western values ​​and the Turkish political model. And Iran, by its very nature, is an ideologized and dogmatic state. Iran is building its International only with those political forces and leaders who believe in the imminent coming from heaven of the 12th Imam Mahdi. And in Azerbaijan, no one believed in the speedy reincarnation of the Mahdi except for Haji Mashadi Alikram.

In addition, carried away by the maximalist dreams of political romanticism, born of the awakened national identity, the Azerbaijani society believed in the great Turan, the path to which lay through the liberation of Tabriz, the capital of South Azerbaijan. In the offices of the Iranian Politburo they understood the full danger of this political romanticism -- in Tehran, memories were still fresh of how the cunning fox as-Saltaneh, the Shah’s legendary prime minister, had barely managed to snatch the idea of ​​reuniting northern and southern Azerbaijan from Stalin's hands... To top it all off, the adventure with Haji Alikram's Islamic party suffered a complete fiasco -- the soldiers of the Green Revolution were captured in the secret apartments of the Iranian intelligence underground in Baku.

The outstanding political mind of the founder of the new republic, Heydar Aliyev, was aware of the 'grandeur' of the plans of Iran, which literally flooded the country with its petty philistine agents, philanthropic branches of intelligence, and presbytery creatures during the years of complete confusion and paralysis of state institutions... From the first years of his presidency Heydar Aliyev smashed the hornet's nest, narrowing religious influence of militant obscurantism to just one Absheron village. They could have knocked the nonsense of obscurantism out of this village too. But from an operational point of view, they left a platform for contact with the 'dear enemy.' After the failure of a Lebanese scenario in Azerbaijan, Iran had to urgently change its foreign policy concept, returning to its original ideological boundaries along the long-suffering Araxes River.

After the failure of an Islamic revolution, Iran found a new counterbalance to Azerbaijan in the person of Sargsyan's Armenia. Tehran declared Yerevan its brother

They failed to absorb Azerbaijan. And in Tehran they said goodbye to the delusional idea of ​​Lebaneseization of the northern bank of the Araxes. Azerbaijan was introduced into the geopolitical space, which is alienated by the system of balances. Iran has chosen a hostile political course towards Baku, declaring it an outpost of world Zionism. Long-term tensions in relations with Tehran continued until the summer of 2002, when Iranian troops resorted to open provocation in the waters of the Caspian Sea, for which Tehran also came up with another name. And only under the pressure of the terrifying Turkish military aviation, which showed its power in the skies over Baku, Iran retreated one step further. It was Iran's first retreat in front of the might of Ankara's resurgent geopolitical power.

In its new foreign policy concept, Iran has chosen Armenian nationalism, familiar from sabotage and provocations in Lebanon and Syria, as a new deterrent system against Azerbaijan. The strengthening of the political influence and military power of the new outpost represented by the expansionist Armenia in the minds of the mullahcracy meant the weakening of hostile Azerbaijan.

Of course, it would be cynical to admit that Baku was unaware of Tehran's wicked game. But the masterful policy of Heydar and Ilham Aliyev made it possible to avoid sharp corners and open clashes with the Iranian political and ideological obscurantist machine. And when Iran, through the Seher TV channel, tried to cause unrest in the southern regions, and when Iran fuelled political passions in the rebellious village of Nardaran, and when Iran involved naïve youth in its special services networks -- the offsprings of religious philistines who were looking for a ray of light in the gloomy universities of Qom -- and when Iran inspired in every possible way the vile occupation regime in Karabakh...

How could we come to an agreement with a neighbour who was preparing to stab us in the back at any opportunity? It was only possible to get away from a direct and head-on collision with a hidden enemy only for a while. This is what the Azerbaijani authorities have skilfully been doing for a quarter of a century.

Iran cannot forgive itself, plunged into the maelstrom of the bloody Middle East wars, only one thing -- this decrepit, but still standing on its feet, regional power has lost sight of the tectonic geopolitical process, expressed in the dazzling military-political success of hostile Azerbaijan. Iran missed the process. Moreover, it remained outside the new geopolitical game shoulder to shoulder with the cornered Armenia.

Iran could allow any scenario to develop. But the appearance of Ilham Aliyev in Shusha was a shock for Tehran

In the new era of domination of regional powers, Iran has suffered heavy losses in the South Caucasus, when the main players, including Azerbaijan, offer Tehran only to join the new geopolitical configuration. A few years ago, the influence of this power stretched from Baghdad to Beirut, it removed unwanted governments and held back the onslaught of global players around the world. And suddenly, quite unexpectedly, at its side, the same power missed the reformatting of the entire regional security system. In addition, it found itself face to face with the dominant position of its main competitors in the Islamic world -- Turkey and Pakistan.

All the anger from powerlessness and hopelessness to change something resulted in malicious and to some extent stupid and pathetic anti-Azerbaijani hysteria. This miserable hysteria culminated in senseless military exercises on the border with Azerbaijan. Another shame for the regional power -- Iran has fell flat on its face in front of the whole world, having deployed against Azerbaijan military equipment and tactics of military operations from the time of the Iran-Iraq war. In the heat of anger, not only people make mistakes, but entire states as well. Anger, let alone anger from powerlessness, is the worst counsellor. And in the mouths of the leaders of the Iranian state there sound threats, insults, curses... Degraded Iranian leaders do not know what they are doing, because each threat and curse further alienates Iran from Azerbaijan.

In their latest statements, the leaders of Iran act as guarantors of the 'territorial integrity of fraternal Armenia.' In Iran, Armenia was openly called a brother! However, Azerbaijan has never encroached on the integrity of Armenia. It was our Shiite mosques in Karabakh that were being turned into barns and pigsties. Did Iran know about this? It certainly did. But Iran has exactly the same relation to Islam as the Brezhnev Politburo had to Marxism. Iran simply resorts to every opportunity in order to prevent Azerbaijan from becoming a self-sufficient state.

What's next? And how far can Tehran go in carrying out its threats and hostile appeals? Before answering this question, we need to look at today's Iran, crushed by sanctions, whose economy resembles a backward subsistence economy. A country with a poverty-stricken countryside, a mendicant and rebellious urban population, gripped by corruption and a pandemic that squandered its wealth on a delusional permanent green revolution. A country that could not stand up for its national and religious honour after the treacherous murder of the popular idol Suleimani. A country that turned drug trafficking into a source of well-being for elites, proxies and its own armed forces... A country that still dwells in a forgotten past rejected by civilisation.

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