Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has made some remarks in a recent gathering of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) as if the history began on August 30, 1991, when his country became an independent state.
Aliyev has expressed concerns about the life of Turks in Iran. That has come from a leader who has oppressed his own Turkic-speaking people for the past decades.
The OTS, renamed last year by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to give it more credibility, has been allegedly founded on language and cultural commonalities between its five members and its two observer states.
However, the very principle of the common language used by the organization as its raison d’être has proved to be illogical as leaders participating in its most recent conference were forced to use interpreters to get their messages across.
The OTS is mainly backed and funded by Türkiye, and its secretariat is based in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
In his remarks at the OTS conference, Aliyev did not directly mention Iran and the Turkish community living in the country. However, his mentioning of communities that have separated from Azerbaijan was a clear distortion of historical facts.
Iranian members of parliament and political and social activists have reacted angrily to the remarks while the Azerbaijani ambassador to Tehran has been summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry to explain the comments.
“No one is allowed to interpret Iran’s patience as a weakness of the country,” said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani in response to Aliyev’s remarks.
Iranian parliament lawmaker Seyyed Alborz Hosseini suggested Aliyev should read the Treaty of Gulistan signed between Iran and Russia in 1813, to know which was which in the political map of the region at the time.
Deputy parliament speaker Ali Nikzad said a grandchild cannot deny the existence of his grandparent, calling Aliyev’s remarks baseless.
Others reiterated the fact that it was Azerbaijan that was separated from Iran and not the other way around as suggested by Aliyev.
Aliyev started taking aggressive and unexpected stances toward Iran after a victory in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute in 2020 despite the fact that Iran supported Azerbaijan’s drive to retake lands occupied by pro-Armenian forces.
Iran says Aliyev’s postures have been directly influenced and dictated by the United States and Zionist Regime as they cannot tolerate Iran’s authority and influence in the Southern Caucasus region.
Azerbaijan has hosted a large number of Israeli intelligence officers in Baku while trying to set up a corridor to its exclave of Nakhchivan through Armenian territories that border Iran, a move opposed by Iran because of its impact on regional equations.
Aliyev’s adoption of pan-Turkism is the latest in efforts dictated by the US and Israel to Azerbaijan to undermine Iran’s role in the region.
Iran views recent actions and statements by Azerbaijani authorities as contradictory to the principle of good neighborliness as Tehran reserves the right for lodging a legal complaint against those moves, especially after reports suggesting that Azerbaijan has become a hotbed for terrorist groups seeking to carry out sabotage operations in Iran.
A recent statement by Iran’s intelligence ministry shows that the mastermind behind a terrorist attack in late October in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz was an Azerbaijani national who arrived from Baku days before attackers killed over a dozen people in a religious shrine.
Arrogant remarks by Aliyev may have been influenced by aggressive stances adopted by US and Israeli officials against Iran. However, he better read the memoirs of his father Heydar Aliyev who once gave the following response to extremist military commanders seeking the annexation of Iran’s Azerbaijan.
It is always the smaller one that joins the larger one. The baby returns to the lap of his mother. If there is a claim for annexation, it is us that should join Iran, not the other way around, said Heydar Aliyev in his memoirs.
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