Spymaniac cleric regime resorts to petty revenge
    Iran-Azerbaijan tension reaches new heights

    ANALYTICS  05 June 2023 - 17:34

    Vadim Mansurov

    The fate of Azerbaijani Farid Safarli, who disappeared in Iran in March, has become somewhat clear: he has been arrested by the Iranian special services on charges of espionage. The 27-year-old student of the German University of Jena has become a new victim of the Iranian Ayatollah regime, which has been recently showing its teeth to Azerbaijan. Not daring to step up military escalation, having lost the battle with Azerbaijan on the diplomatic front, Tehran has decided to focus on petty pandering - a so-called witch hunt, and more specifically, persecution of Azerbaijani citizens, who for one reason or another found themselves on the territory of Iran. Arranging such provocations, Iran is driving itself into a political trap, increasingly justifying its position as a rogue state.

    Dilara Askerova, Farid's mother, has reported that Azerbaijani diplomats in Iran are currently seeking a meeting with the arrested man, but so far no reply has been received. The woman firmly believes in the innocence of her son, and very much hopes for a speedy resolution of the absurd situation. "The accusation is false, my son was not spying. We do not accept the charges against him," she insists.


    So far, the Iranian regime's punitive style is evident. First, contact with the Azerbaijani student was lost back in March, that is, the boy was in an Iranian chamber for more than three months, and his family did not know what was happening to him, but the Iranian authorities have only now seen fit to inform Baku about Safarli's arrest and the charges brought against him. What was happening to the youngster all this time is unknown. It is very possible that they tried to recruit him, to force him to act against our country. When he refused, they retaliated by charging him with spying. This is also a traditional trick of the Iranian regime and this is not the first time our citizens have been targeted.

    In October 2008, Azerbaijani scientist Rashid Aliyev was detained under false pretexts. Aliyev himself said then by phone that the Iranian court sentenced him to three years in prison, but the procedure took place without his participation. The scientist managed to return to his homeland only in the summer of 2010.

    In 2013, two Azerbaijani nationals were arrested in Iran on similar charges. According to a statement issued by the country's foreign ministry, these Azerbaijanis had arrived in Iran as tourists and were detained on charges of "illegal activities and establishing dubious connections". Khalede Khaled, a researcher at the Nizami Institute of Literature of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, and her assistant ended up in the chambers of the Iranian security services.

    These are just isolated episodes of Tehran's hostile policy towards our country. While boasting about itself as a "defender of Muslims", Iran has done nothing to help its neighbour, its co-religionists for thirty years while Azerbaijani lands were under Armenian occupation. On the contrary, Tehran encouraged the Armenian aggression, supported it financially, and, together with Yerevan, plundered Azerbaijan's natural resources and the property of its citizens.

    Moreover, having realized in the autumn of 2020 that Azerbaijan was winning the war, Iran tried to block the path of the Azerbaijani army. Iranian army units crossed Araz and moved in the direction of the Khudaferin TPP dam, thus delaying the victorious advance of the Azerbaijani forces towards Zangilan.

    For some reason, Iran sees a threat to itself in the strengthening of Azerbaijan. It is more satisfied with a weak, Tehran-influenced Armenia than with the power of Baku, with its increasing role and authority on the world stage. After the 44-day war, the Ayatollah regime has steadily stepped up its hostile propaganda against our country, making statements containing direct threats against Azerbaijan. Of course, Baku has responded by issuing a series of serious warnings (including joint military exercises with brotherly Türkiye) and by recalling the situation of ethnic Azerbaijanis. Thus, speaking last November at the 9th summit of the Organisation of Turkic States in Samarkand, Ilham Aliyev, in particular, said: "The Turkic world consists not only of independent Turkic states, its geographical boundaries are much wider. I think it is time to keep such issues as rights, security, preserving national identity and preventing the assimilation of compatriots living outside the member states of the Organisation of Turkic States in the focus of attention within the organisation on a permanent basis. In the Turkic world, the young generation should have the opportunity to be educated in their native language in their countries of residence. Unfortunately, most of the 40 million Azerbaijanis living outside the Azerbaijani state are deprived of these opportunities. Educating compatriots living outside the Turkic states in their mother tongue should always be on the agenda of the Organization. Necessary steps should be taken in this direction. The Azerbaijani state pays special attention to ensuring the rights and freedoms and security of Azerbaijanis living abroad".

    At the same time, Azerbaijan has launched an active fight against the spy network that Iranian mullahs have been trying to establish in our country for decades. As a result of special operational measures this year in the country have been identified and detained dozens of people carrying out subversive activities under the guise of religion. These people carried out the tasks of the Iranian special services and promoted among the population and in social networks the Iranian regime and policies to undermine the established traditions of tolerance in Azerbaijan.

    And now, when the Iranian authorities had a decent response to their aggressive actions against our country, in particular by depriving the spy network, when the passion of rhetoric and intimidation of Baku has calmed down, Tehran is trying to somehow win back. At the same time, we should not forget the well-known saying that "forewarned is forearmed". Our citizens must be extremely careful when visiting Iran, seeing relatives and friends, or simply when travelling. The regime of Iranian Ayatollah is waging a both open and masked struggle against our state, and no citizen of Azerbaijan can feel safe in Iran. As long as our state enhances its influence in South Caucasus by conducting a dialogue with Armenia on comprehensive peace, the toxic regime of mullahs will only increase its provocative actions against everything related to us. Tehran clearly does not need peace between Baku and Yerevan.

    Unfortunately, not everyone understands the level of threat since we are used to visiting Iran in our immediate vicinity, especially the towns and villages of Southern Azerbaijan. Although the border between Azerbaijan and Iran is now closed, some of our citizens are stubbornly trying to get there through third countries, unaware that they might be trapped. This is evidenced by the facts presented in this article. Azerbaijanis visiting Iran can become targets of the intelligence services and end up in prison for a decent term on trumped-up charges. The story of Farid Safarli is a vivid example of an Azerbaijani citizen trapped by the Iranian regime.

    Of course, Azerbaijan will not allow its citizens to be hurt and will do everything possible to secure their release. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry is trying its best to help Safarli, and if necessary Baku can use its strongest leverage. But why tempt fate? By all appearances, Iran's aggressive and predatory policy must not be tolerated for long - the regime of Iranian mullahs is bursting at the seams, and the movement of those opposed to the policy of the authorities is growing by the day. An important role here is played by our brothers living in the territory of South Azerbaijan, whose freedoms and rights are like a pain in the neck, stifling the ambitions of the regime in Tehran, which is losing support in the country.


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