Iran re-evaluating its ties with Azerbaijan, Armenia
    Baku - more important, honest partner than Yerevan

    ANALYTICS  25 April 2024 - 12:00

    Azerbaijan has heard Iran’s belated, obvious reaction to something that has long and justifiably caused Baku’s discontent. The developments were expected.

    Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Nasser Kanaani said that the Iranian side thinks that sending of foreign troops to the South Caucasus does not contribute to security, stability and harms the interests of the peoples in the region.

    “Any approach aimed at increasing militarism in the South Caucasus will complicate the security in the region and harm the peace process in the region. Iran will not accept this. The regional countries do not want to form mechanisms that would complicate the regional situation,” Kanaani noted.

    Kanaani added that the security of the South Caucasus is one of Iran's most important priorities.

    The reason is that Armenia brought Western intelligence officers under the guise of an EU “observation mission”, which disturbs Iran, which is in a long-standing and tough confrontation with the West. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi stated at a meeting with the Armenian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan in mid-February that the presence of foreigners in the region, under the pretext of solving regional problems, is not welcomed by Tehran.

    Moreover, joint military exercises with the US called “Eagle Partner-2023” were held in Armenia from September 11 to 20, 2023. Then Tehran reacted harshly. Deputy Chief of Staff for Political Affairs to the Iranian president Mohammad Jamshidi pointed out that negotiations outside the “3+3” format (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Türkiye, Russia and Iran) in the South Caucasus complicates the situation.

    There is one more statement on this issue.

    “The Armenian leadership decided to invite the EU mission, which, under the guise of monitoring, collects intelligence data against Russia and Iran and make reports only for Brussels,” Spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on October 26, 2023.

    “I am sure that Tehran also has evidence confirming Zakharova’s statement. The current statement made by Kanaani also testifies to this.

    In fact, we see the similarity of the positions of Baku and Tehran on this issue. The Azerbaijani side has always pointed out that the EU mission in Armenia was supposed to contribute to stability in the region and strengthen trust between Baku and Yerevan, but it is widely used as a propaganda tool against Azerbaijan. This is true.

    Moreover, we remember that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev regarded the sending of an EU mission to Armenia without Baku’s consent as a deception. President Aliyev said in an interview with Azerbaijani TV channels last January that sending a 40-person EU mission to Armenia for a period of two months was agreed upon during a quadripartite meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, the European Council and France in Prague on October 6, 2022. However, the Azerbaijani president noted that the EU later violated the reached agreements by making a decision to send a new mission without Baku’s consent after the mandate of the previous one expired on December 19, 2022.

    The Azerbaijani side also points out the provocative and undesirable actions of Armenia and the EU. Tehran, Moscow, Ankara are also displeased. It turns out that Yerevan is trying to pursue a policy that contradicts the interests of all the most important countries in the region. This is not just a mistake of the Armenian leadership. This is its forced or voluntary consent to be a pawn in someone else’s game, which entails risks for the region.

    Azerbaijan has a completely different status. Azerbaijan has a reputation of an economic and military leader in the South Caucasus for a long time. Thanks to this status Baku is successfully developing relations with Russia, Ukraine, Iran and Israel. At the same time, Azerbaijan plays a vital role in ensuring the energy security of Europe, Asia and Africa.

    There is another vital moment. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had a phone talk with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on April 16, informing him of the pressure that Belgrade has recently been subjected to. President Vucic asked for the support of the friendly Azerbaijani people. This fact shows recognition of Azerbaijan’s enormous authority in the world political arena and its ability to shape new realities both in the region and beyond. Iran also understands this. It is slowly re-evaluating its relations with Baku and Yerevan, recognising Azerbaijan’s status as a more important and honest partner.

    Akbar Hasanov


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