Azerbaijan committed to sincere neighborhood and friendship with Iran - ANALYSIS
- 09 April 2020
Azerbaijan in its foreign policy pursues the policy of amicable neighborhood and balance with all its neighbors (except occupant Armenia).
One of the countries in regard to which the official Baku has always been demonstrating solidarity is the Islamic Republic of Iran. The demonstration by Azerbaijan of material and spiritual support in regard to the Islamic Republic of Iran due to the coronavirus pandemic is another proof of such solidarity.
The social and economic situation remains hard in a number of countries in the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. The crisis has brought the countries of the European Union into more difficult conditions. The EU has left alone Italy which suffered mostly from the pandemic and hasn’t provided any assistance to it. And the crisis caused by the pandemic continues. Just such crisis times demonstrate the extent of conformance to the reality of the amicable neighborhood and friendship relations between states. The conduct of mutual rivalry between a number of the Western states for medical supplies during the recent weeks, even the confiscation of the resuscitation equipment belonging to neighbor countries reveals disrespect for “alliance principles”. We note with regret that one of the countries most affected by the pandemic is the neighboring Islamic Republic of Iran. In times of escalation of coronavirus spreading trend (in March), Azerbaijan has become one of the countries providing assistance to the neighbor state having fallen in hard condition. Based on the order of the Cabinet of Ministers dated March 07, 2020, it has been decided to allocate the humanitarian aid in the amount of USD 5,000,000 (five million) from Reserve Fund of the state budget in order to wage fight against the coronavirus disease in the Islamic Republic of Iran and to prevent the spread of this disease. And on April 7, the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran was video-projected on the building of the Heydar Aliyev Center. Thus, as an expression of Azerbaijan’s solidarity in the fight against the spreading of the “COVID-19” pandemic, the flag of the state affected by the virus is demonstrated with the accompaniment of a musical composition of that country. The steps are taken in the recent weeks express the support, respect, and esteem of the official Baku to the Iranian state and people suffering from “COVID-19” epidemic. At the same time, these steps prove once again the fabulousness of the non-adequate statements of the anti-Azerbaijani forces trying to damage the friendship and amicable neighborhood relations between the Azerbaijan Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Azerbaijan has always helped the Islamic Republic of Iran in hard times and has proved in practice its attitude of a friendly country.
The official Tehran also attaches special significance to its relations with Baku. Iran and Azerbaijan are united by common culture, religion and language factors. However, unfortunately, some political circles of the IRI take steps aimed at the disruption of these relations. But Azerbaijan as a state is interested in closer cooperation with Iran. In its turn, Iran as a state also tries to protect its relations with Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is developing large-scale projects in order to increase the volume of trade with Iran. For instance, the multilateral relations have been envisaged in the "North-South" project. Based on this project, the transport corridors passing through the territory of Azerbaijan will reduce cargo transportation time. The mutual interests of Baku and Tehran create pre-requisites for wider cooperation. It is impossible to expect intensive economic activity from Iran being under sanctions up to now, but the relations between the two countries can be raised to the level of closer cooperation. For instance, the Azerbaijani-Iranian projects have great potential in energy and transport areas. The main factor that hampers the raising of Iranian-Azerbaijani relations to the level of strategic cooperation is the Garabagh conflict and the occupational policy pursued by Armenia. Iran supports the solution of the Garabagh conflict in the framework of the principle of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, but Baku wishes that Tehran exerted more influence on Armenia.
Undoubtedly, Iran is a very promising ally in strategic and economic terms. But the matter is that despite the development of the Azerbaijani-Iranian relations, the opening by some circles in Iran of the cultural centers on the territory of Nagorno Garabagh being under the Armenian occupation can’t but impact these relations. There are important economic projects between Azerbaijan and Iran, and any negative statement can cause damage to those projects. We shouldn’t forget the important economic projects represent equal significance for Iran. On the other hand, an Iranian company takes part in the “Shah Deniz-2” project on a par with the Western companies. In the times of enforcement of the US sanctions, Iran proposed Azerbaijan to continue the construction of “Astara (Iran)-Resht” part of the “North-South” railway route. Azerbaijan accepted this proposal. The Iranian political elite is also interested in continuation at a high level of relations with Azerbaijan. In general, Azerbaijan doesn’t favor hostility and animosity with any of its neighbors. Azerbaijan and Iran are interested in friendship. But sometimes this annoys a number of groups, and they attempt to commit some media provocations in order to create confrontations on the religious basis within Azerbaijan. All these small provocation attempts are senseless because the Baku-Tehran relations have formed on the basis of mutual interests and pragmatism…