January 22, 2017
Recently National Parliament of Azerbaijan threatened to divide Iran into 5 countries, and Oktay Assadof, the speaker of the parliament, approved and emphasized it. Ghodrat Hassangholiev threatened that if Iran attacks Azerbaijan, Iran itself will be divided into 5 countries.
Some believe that this should be ignored, in order not to damage Tehran-Baku relationship. But the truth is that the relationship between the two countries suffers more from ignoring such issues, than not reacting to them. That is because when Zionism-affiliated and anti-Iranian forces find themselves immune from any reactions and protests, they will increase their anti-Iranian propagandas and measures.
In the recent years, Iran-Azerbaijan relationship can demonstrate this issue. In past two years, Iran has closed its eyes on all anti-Iran and anti-Shia moves in Azerbaijan and has not even verbally criticized or protested them.
Iran’s attempt to add Azerbaijan into its territory is not unprecedented. Iranian leader’s chief adviser for media affairs Hossein Shariatmadari has demanded Iran’s government to offer a proposal for Azerbaijan to hold a referendum on joining Iranian province of Azerbaijan, thus becoming a part of Iran. Meanwhile, Iran prefers friendly relations with the Christian Armenia—unlike its relationship with Muslim Azerbaijan, because of geopolitical interests.
Some reports indicate that Iran is following and kidnapping members of movements that demand separation of Iranian Azerbaijan province, as well as having an extensive network of agents in Azerbaijan. “Tehran will seek to move this network if Bako allows the United States to use its territory for military purposes,” reports say.
Silence and passivity will not have a good result. Just as silence and passivity in past years of relationship with Azerbaijan have made anti-Iranian forces more aggressive. As long as infrastructural changes are not made to the political structure in Azerbaijan, waves of enmity with Iran will not be eradicated.
Moreover, after the events of Nagorno-Karabakh 1988-1994, Baku has accused Iran of taking side with Christian Armenia, providing financial and military support to them, and sending IRGC experts to help the Christian Armenia against Azerbaijan with its Muslim Shiite majority.