Iran-Azerbaijan: neighbours, partners, foes?
    Expert opinion on Caliber.Az

    INTERVIEWS  11 September 2023 - 15:23

    Samir Ibrahimov

    Azerbaijan receives positive messages from Iran on the issue of normalisation of relations between the two countries, Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev has said in an interview with the Israeli international TV channel i24News.

    According to him, Iran is a neighbour and Azerbaijan needs to have good relations with all neighbours. The country's policy is to maintain stable and mutually beneficial relations with all the countries it borders.

    "There has been confusion and certain misunderstandings between Iran and Azerbaijan. But using diplomatic channels and dialogue, we are trying to solve this, and we are also receiving positive signals from the Iranian side," he said.

    The presidential aide stressed that Azerbaijan continues diplomatic contacts with its Iranian counterparts to turn the page "and create a much more favourable atmosphere for cooperation and dialogue in the region as a whole, as well as in bilateral cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan".

    Not long before, Tehran said it supported the resumption of the Iran-Azerbaijan-Türkiye format. Iranian Foreign Minister Hosein Amir Abdollahian said this at a press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in Tehran on September 3.

    What is happening to Tehran's foreign policy towards Azerbaijan? It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard blatant anti-Azerbaijani rhetoric from Tehran. And now there are statements about readiness to fully normalise relations. How sincere can they be? Has Iran realised that spoiled ties with Azerbaijan are not beneficial for it?

    Iliya Kusa, an expert on the Middle East region, and analyst of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, shared his view on this situation with Caliber.Az.

    He believes that in general the logic of normalisation is understandable as the same logic is manifested in Iran's foreign policy in its relations with Saudi Arabia


    "That is, in general, it is certainly more beneficial for Iran to avoid creating problems and getting involved in conflicts, especially armed ones, with neighbouring countries, with any states, because this diverts resources from the already difficult economic situation inside the country. Iran as a whole over the last couple of years has shown a willingness to focus on domestic economic development, which has deteriorated due to sanctions and other problems. We saw this with last year's protests. Thus, Iran needs normalisation," Kusa says.

    Another issue is that, of course, normalisation of relations with other countries always faces political opposition from some elites, he said.

    "Inside Iran, not everyone may agree with this, not all the time this idea is popular. For example, in particular in relations with Azerbaijan, it is clear that on the one hand, normalisation is actually in the interest of both states. Because both countries generally do not want to go to war with each other for obvious reasons, it would bring costs, which both sides objectively would like to avoid.

    On the other hand, there are political disputes between these two states, there are issues of interests that affect the regional situation. For example, with what is happening around Armenia. The desire for normalisation sometimes encounters certain geopolitical thinking of Iranian rulers, who do not want, say, Türkiye to increase its presence in the South Caucasus or near Iran's borders as a result," the expert says.

    In addition, specifically with regard to Azerbaijan, it is no secret that Iran is dissatisfied with its rapprochement with Israel, especially in the military-technical sphere, and this is also an additional factor of tension in bilateral relations, Kusa underlined.

    "So, I think Iran has the same logic with Azerbaijan as it does with Saudi Arabia. That is, in general, an attempt to balance between normal, predictable, controlled relations and, of course, their geopolitical interests, which both countries have and which they cannot ignore.

    Therefore, I think that it is too early to assess all these statements as an accomplished fact of normalisation, because there have been no practical actions yet, plus now the situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan is escalating, and accordingly Iran will have to react here too, and most likely it will side with Yerevan.

    Therefore, it is too early to say that relations between Azerbaijan and Iran will somehow improve or are improving - we have to wait, I think, for some more time," the regional expert concluded.


    Subscribe to our Telegram channel

Read also

Armenian PM underestimates leader of Belarus Experts’ opinions at Caliber.Az

13 June 2024 - 19:05

Armenia exists thanks to Collective Security Treaty Organisation Russian experts’ opinions at Caliber.Az

14 June 2024 - 12:20

Belfast Agreement serves as model for Armenia-Azerbaijan peace talks Drawing parallels

11 June 2024 - 17:31

Azerbaijani's President visit to Egypt: A step towards greater economic influence in the Middle East? Expert weighs in

09 June 2024 - 13:42

Azerbaijan’s military, economic potential shapes future of Caucasus Jamestown Foundation senior fellow’s opinion at Caliber.Az

10 June 2024 - 11:11

European Parliament elections: Potential impact on EU-Azerbaijan ties Expert opinions on Caliber.Az

08 June 2024 - 15:15
Latest news

    Azerbaijan, Albania foster trade ties through business meeting in Baku

    14 June 2024 - 20:59

    Astana hosts preparatory meeting for COP29 in Baku

    14 June 2024 - 20:42

    Azerbaijan’s Defence Minister extends Eid al-Adha greetings to armed forces

    14 June 2024 - 20:37

    Azerbaijani exclave military lyceum celebrates 2024 cadet graduation with solemn ceremony

    14 June 2024 - 20:29

    Armenian forces fire on Azerbaijani positions in Nakhchivan

    14 June 2024 - 20:19

    Iran reaffirms commitment to NPT amid Western pressure - Supreme Leader's adviser

    14 June 2024 - 20:14

    Türkiye’s ASELSAN signs contracts with clients in Asia, Middle East


    14 June 2024 - 19:55

    Azeri girl makes history as first Azerbaijani woman to graduate from MIT with full support

    14 June 2024 - 19:39

    Russia says detained US reporter Gershkovich will stand trial over "CIA work"

    14 June 2024 - 19:26

    Luxembourg, Azerbaijan hold consular consultations

    14 June 2024 - 19:14

    The complexities of regional integration in Middle East

    Tensions and opportunities

    14 June 2024 - 19:07

    Turkish intelligence officers uncover Mossad cell in Europe


    14 June 2024 - 19:02

    Azerbaijan, Bangladesh bolster diplomatic ties, discuss regional co-op


    14 June 2024 - 18:50

    Top military brass oversees tactical & special drills with Azerbaijani army's engineering units

    14 June 2024 - 18:38

    Germany to transfer new aid package to Ukraine

    HIMARS, IRIS-T air defence systems

    14 June 2024 - 18:26

    Baku welcomes Belgrade for talks on defence and regional security


    14 June 2024 - 18:14

    EU, Azerbaijan discuss partnership within COP29

    14 June 2024 - 18:02

    Central Asia's rare-earth reserves & global geopolitics

    The new great game

    14 June 2024 - 17:50

    Israeli defence minister slams French president over Hezbollah comments

    14 June 2024 - 17:38

    Russian defence ministry establishes Volunteer Corps

    Report by UK’s Defence Intelligence

    14 June 2024 - 17:26

    Azerbaijan, Serbia strengthen defence cooperation with high-level talks


    14 June 2024 - 17:14

    Putin outlines conditions for peace with Ukraine

    14 June 2024 - 17:02

    Greek premier reshuffles Cabinet over party’s dismal EU polls performance

    14 June 2024 - 16:50

    Hamas admits they don’t know how many hostages are still alive

    14 June 2024 - 16:38

    Azerbaijan gears up for digital transformation on the horizon

    World Economic Forum appreciates Baku's efforts in IT sector

    14 June 2024 - 16:26

    Armenia issues protest note to Belarus amid diplomatic tensions

    14 June 2024 - 16:14

    Last bell rings after 32 years in schools of Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli


    14 June 2024 - 16:14

    Bruised Macron puts on brave face at G7

    14 June 2024 - 16:02

    Azerbaijan approves customs protocol with Kyrgyzstan

    14 June 2024 - 15:50

    Tajik MP suspected of plotting coup d'état

    14 June 2024 - 15:38

    Turkish naval mission to Japan: A historical & strategic outreach

    Marking century of diplomacy & Ertuğrul tragedy

    14 June 2024 - 15:26

    Finland suspects four Russian military planes violated its airspace

    14 June 2024 - 15:14

    Euro 2024 kickoff: Germany to face Scotland in opening match

    14 June 2024 - 15:02

    G-7 pledge to step up action on Russia oil fleet, energy, metals

    14 June 2024 - 14:48

    US Israel’s key intelligence partner in search for hostages

    14 June 2024 - 14:33

    President Aliyev delivers heartfelt Eid al-Adha message to Azerbaijanis worldwide

    14 June 2024 - 14:26

    COP29 Academy to empower young environmental leaders in Azerbaijan

    14 June 2024 - 14:18

    President Aliyev approves military cooperation agreement with Slovakia

    14 June 2024 - 14:13

    Ukraine national team to receive enhanced security measures at EURO 2024

    14 June 2024 - 14:06

    Armenian security chief to attend Ukraine Peace Summit in Switzerland

    14 June 2024 - 13:54

All news