Iranian Presdent Hassan Rouhani (R) with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. (IRNA)

October 26, 2019

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, who visited Baku to participate in a meeting of “non-aligned” counties has said that Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan as three “Shiite countries” are moving toward a “strategic relationship”.

Speaking before his departure for Baku at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport, Rouhani mentioned the multilateral agreement on the Caspian Sea, oil and gas production as well as transit of goods as possible areas for expanding relations with Azerbaijan.

Among the points mentioned by Rouhani, the Caspian Sea agreement which has reduced Iran’s share of the Caspian resources, is a controversial issue in his country.

Iran is trying hard to establish closer ties with some regional countries as a way of overcoming its economic and diplomatic isolation amid tensions with the West and its Persian Gulf neighbors.

Iranian officials also try to show their domestic audience that the country is not in total isolation and has alternatives for trade, as it faces a nearly 10 percent economic contraction this year.

After arriving in Baku and meeting his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev, Rouhani called their bilateral relations “satisfactory” and said it can be expanded in cooperation with Russia.

Aliyev also mentioned a 70 percent increase in bilateral trade in the past one year.

RFE/RL

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.