Dark clouds gathering over fearful Tehran
    Tabriz lurks waiting

    ANALYTICS  31 March 2023 - 11:17

    Caliber.az Staff

    The assassination attempt on Milli Majlis MP Fazil Mustafa has caused a stir in Azerbaijani society. Mustafa is an active political figure, openly and meaningfully expressing his position on many issues, including the country's security. Therefore, the attempt on the deputy's life was unequivocally perceived by our society as an attack on our statehood. After all, there is a very high probability that outside forces were behind the attack.

    Law-enforcement agencies have not yet put forward an official version, but several factors point to Iran as the mastermind of the attack. Let's try to list them.

    So, immediately after the assassination attempt, before the news reached the media, the IRGC Telegram channel published the following message: "Fazil Qazanfaroglu (Mustafa), a Member of the Azerbaijani Parliament known for his anti-Iranian and anti-Islamic statements, was killed."

    Moreover, the testimony of an Iranian agent detained as a result of an SSB special operation, who stated (several days before the attack on Mustafa) that the plan was to "kill or intimidate" well-known Azerbaijani public figures, may also point to Iran's hand.

    The choice of the date of the attack is also symbolic in this vein. The assassination attempt took place on March 28, the day Azerbaijani state security bodies are celebrating their professional holiday. No less important, it was committed on the eve of the opening ceremony of Azerbaijan's embassy in Israel on March 29.

    It is not the first time the shadow of Iran looms over the high-profile terrorist attacks against prominent Azerbaijani figures. The famous historian and public figure Ziya Bunyatov was shot dead by Hezbollah agents, and writer and publicist Rafig Taghi fell victim to a fatwa by Iranian Ayatollah Lenkorani. One must also recall the fortunately uncovered plan for a mass terrorist attack that was to take place during the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku in 2012.

    Iran's hostile policy towards Azerbaijan fully manifested itself at the dawn of the restoration of our statehood. In May 1992, Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani put forward an allegedly peaceful initiative - Chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan Yagub Mammadov and Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan came to Tehran to conduct negotiations. Strangely, immediately after the 'fruitful talks' and the signing of a communiqué on the intention to end the conflict, with Tehran assuring that the ceasefire would not be violated, Armenian gangs seized Shusha on May 8. This loss effectively predetermined the outcome of the First Karabakh war.

    It is no accident that the triumph of the Azerbaijani people in the Patriotic War of 2020 has become a nuisance to the mullocratic regime and now it is trying by all imaginable and unimaginable means to weaken the progressive development of Azerbaijan. During the war, units of the Iranian Armed Forces crossed the border and blocked the way of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces units advancing in the region of Khudaferin. A day was lost while the uninvited guests were escorted out. Who knows how many lives of Azerbaijani soldiers that day cost... In addition to this incident, during the war the Iranian side provided Armenians with intelligence about the movements of Azerbaijani Army units.

    The mullahs, who run a country shaken by internal strife and on the brink of a civil war, are now trying to save their fate by "attacking" Azerbaijan. Today, the commander of the Iranian Army's Ground Forces, Kiomars Heidari, has already stated the following: "There are some very sensitive issues in the Caucasus. One of them is the presence of the Zionist regime elements near our borders. Iran will not tolerate the presence of Zionist elements in the countries of the region and will resist them. Another issue is the illegitimacy of changing state borders in the region. Iran respects the borders of neighboring countries and will not allow them to be changed," Heidari said.

    It is striking that the inadmissibility of changing (invented) state borders is mentioned by the representative of the country, which for thirty years has not only been silent about the changes resulting from the Armenian occupation of the Iranian-Azerbaijani border but has been directly involved in various dark schemes to transport drugs, weapons, and other contraband across this border.

    It is noteworthy that throughout modern independent Azerbaijan the supreme leader of the neighbouring country, Ayatollah Khamenei, who ironically is considered an ethnic Azeri, has held supreme power. However, this is no more than a myth. But that is not even the point. Regardless of Khamenei's ethnicity, he is a product of the Persian cultural tradition, which disavows its imperial interests with Islamic rhetoric. A man should be judged by his deeds. And Khamenei's actions are openly hostile to Azerbaijan. His portrayal of himself as an ethnic Azeri in the country is nothing but a way to please Iranian Azeris, to make them believe that they are a privileged people in the IRI, to keep them from legitimate demands of their inalienable rights, and most importantly, to cause discord with Azeris on the other side of the Araz.

    But Azerbaijan is not the only target of Iran's hostility. The pariah country, to enhance its perceived credibility in the Islamic world and Arab countries in particular, is still unable to get rid of its "holy war" agenda with Israel. Iran regularly carries out terrorist acts against Israeli citizens. In the last 2 years alone, the assassination attempts on Israeli citizens were foiled in Cyprus, Georgia, Türkiye, and Greece.

    However, while Iran's aggressive rhetoric and actions towards Israel have long been commonplace, its blatant hostility towards Azerbaijan became particularly evident after the victory in the 44-day war. Undoubtedly, this trend owes its existence to the strengthening of Azerbaijan's role in the region. The IRGC's premature jubilation over the alleged death of Fazil Mustafa is indicative of the dangerous haste of the Iranian regime, which as if in agony, is moving in an extremely abrupt and impulsive manner. This will inevitably lead it to make a mistake that will cost it dearly. Tabriz lurks waiting.


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