The scheduled visit to Armenia of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has drawn criticism from believers in Azerbaijan.
The Iranian president’s planned meeting with the president of a hostile country that has occupied Azerbaijani lands runs contrary to all the principles, orientialist Sayyid Jamal Azimbeyli, who is head of Karabakh Sayyid Sanctuaries, told APA on Monday.
“The Sate of Azerbaijan and its head is the protector of our national-moral values in this country,” Azimbeyli said, strongly condemning the anti-Azerbaijan statements by certain groups in Iran as well as some state officials.
“As a believer with a well-known lineage and righteous deeds, I can say that meeting with the president of Armenia that has for centuries been hostile to Azerbaijan and has invaded its lands comes in conflict with the principles of religion as well as those of our prophet and his pious household,” he said.
Any visit by Iranian authorities, who blame Azerbaijan for meeting officials of other countries, to the country that has committed the Khojaly tragedy, has held Azerbaijani territories under occupation to this day, and kept pigs on the graves of Azerbaijani members of the People of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) of Prophet Mohammad is inadmissible, Azimbeyli said, calling on Iran’s supreme leader to prevent anti-Azerbaijani calls by using his authority.
At the same time, Iran’s religious leader should demonstrate a strict position against Armenians, who unfairly exposed the Azerbaijani people to torture, and take decisive steps regarding the Iranian president’s planned visit to Armenia, he added.
“Anti-Azerbaijani calls are often made in Tehran. Supposedly, there are some religious problems in Azerbaijan and the state pursues wrong policy,” the believer said, urging those people not to be silent about the Khojaly and Karabakh realities.
Speaking to APA, scientist-theologian Rashad Mammadov called for strong condemnation of the scheduled visit to Yerevan of Hassan Rouhani, the president of a Muslim state.
“We can comment on this issue like a religious figure and a citizen,” said Mammadov. “From religious point of view, it is inappropriate for a religious leader to visit Armenia that occupied Azerbaijani territories, committed acts of crimes against the Azerbaijani people. Thus, Rouhani’s visit should be strongly condemned.”
The scientist recalled Israeli PM’s Netanyahu’s recent visit to Azerbaijan.
“During Jummah prayer, representatives of Iranian religious leaders urged Azerbaijani young people to denounce Netanyahu’s visit to Azerbaijan. However, today in Azerbaijan no slogan is changed against Rouhani’s planned visit to Armenia. Because our country relies on the idea of tolerance,” said Mammadov.
“As Muslims, we condemn this visit. Though Armenia is predominantly Christian country, their religious beliefs are not clear. Secondly, they caused extensive damage to the Muslim community, committed a massacre. The visit by any Muslim to Armenia is considered haram,” he concluded.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will pay a visit to Armenia on Dec. 21.
The president’s office said that Rouhani will arrive in Armenia's capital, Yerevan, where he is scheduled to meet the country’s President Serzh Sargsyan and discuss the development of bilateral relations.