What's wrong with Iran-Azerbaijan relations?

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The President of Azerbaijan, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, sent a congratulatory message to his Iranian counterpart, however, not having time to brush away the impressions of diplomatic flattery, the Baku media released a number of unprecedentedly tough publications, the general meaning of which is that “the Iranian regime is interested in continuing the Armenian occupation plain Karabakh”.

The reason for this conclusion was the information about the official visit of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to Iran in late February. The Azerbaijani side was probably so surprised by this news that it hurried to urgently send Foreign Minister Mammadyarov to Tehran, however, it so happened that Iran would receive the Azerbaijani envoy after the visit of the Prime Minister of Armenia.

It seems that Azerbaijan was too inspired by direct contacts with Pashinyan-Aliyev and Mnatsakanyan-Mammadyarov, and cherished great hopes that the Armenian side would make unprecedented concessions. The visit of the Prime Minister of Armenia to Berlin and the statements on the Karabakh settlement, as well as information that the upcoming Mnatsakanyan-Mammadyarov meeting will be held with the participation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, seem to undermine the very optimistic expectations of official Baku.

Azerbaijan understands that regional security issues will necessarily be on the agenda of Nikol Pashinyan’s visit to Tehran. For the Aliyev regime, judging by the tone of publications in the Azerbaijani media, this topic raises many guesses as to how Armenia dared to deepen the political dialogue with Iran after Bolton's visit to Yerevan, who hinted that his country is interested in freezing the Armenian-Iranian relations.

From the Azerbaijani side, they are trying to understand why, declaring at various levels about “supporting the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan”, in practice Iran is opposed to changing the status quo. In this regard, Azerbaijani experts prefer to ascribe unfounded statements to official Tehran, including accusations of “smuggling in uncontrolled territory,” however, this topic is aimed at the domestic consumer.

In fact, Baku is afraid that Iran can bring its relations with Nagorno-Karabakh to a formal level. Maybe Baku has received information through diplomatic channels that in Tehran, Prime Minister Pashinyan will also touch upon the issue of unofficial Iranian-Artsakh relations, including? So far, it seems, there is no such information, but Azerbaijani experts base their judgments on the analysis of Armenian political circles activities. Apparently, something is wrong in the Iranian-Azerbaijani relations.

Baku has failed to convince Tehran that it is not taking anti-Iranian actions and will not use the so-called “Iranian Azerbaijan” factor. In turn, demonstrating a balanced approach in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, excluding the interference of non-territorial forces in resolving the conflict, Tehran raises doubts in Baku that Iran is a supporter of the status quo.

What general decision will be made as a result of the visit of Prime Minister Pashinyan to Tehran? What conclusions will be drawn from the upcoming Iranian-Azerbaijani consultations? We will know next month.

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