In Baku, Iran’s Ahmadinejad Treads Carefully On Armenia, Karabakh

BAKU (RFE/RL)–Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Azerbaijan a “brotherly” neighbor but was careful not to publicly take sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict after talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku late on Wednesday.

“We will stand by Azerbaijan in all international organizations and in the international arena,” Ahmadinejad said, according to news reports from Baku. “We are two brotherly states. This brotherhood will continue, it will gradually strengthen and deepen.”

Turning to the Karabakh conflict, he called for its peaceful and “just” resolution. “We are ready to make our utmost contribution to a quick resolution of that problem by means of negotiations, on a just basis and within the framework of international law,” he told a joint news conference with Aliyev.

According to Regnum, Ahmadinejad skirted Azerbaijani journalists’ persistent questions about Iran’s close political and economic ties with Armenia and international Muslim solidarity championed by Tehran. “I’m not going to say what you want to hear from me,” the Russian news agency quoted him as saying.

The Islamic Republic has signed up to Azerbaijani-drafted resolutions by Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) accusing Armenia of unleashing aggression against Azerbaijan. It most recently did so at a September meeting in New York of the foreign ministers of OIC member states.

Nevertheless, that has not kept Tehran from developing a warm rapport with Yerevan. The two neighboring states plan to cement that relationship further with more joint multimillion-dollar commercial projects to be launched soon. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for their speedy implementation.

Azerbaijani politicians and pundits have long accused the Iranian leadership of hypocrisy. The Azerbaijani government, however, has avoided echoing such accusations or publicly demanding that Iran join in Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s long-running economic blockade of Armenia.

Aliyev referred to Ahmadinejad as a “brother” and said Azerbaijani-Iranian relations are currently “at the highest level.” “We are consistently taking practical steps to raise that level,” he said, according to the official Azertag agency.

Aliyev added that he briefed the Iranian leader on the status of the Karabakh peace process. “I hope that Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity,” he told journalists. “To that end, we must get even stronger. There has been an exchange of opinions on that today.”

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7 Comments

  1. ed said:

    Azerbaijani is making non stop attempts to divide Armenia and Iran..
    well, pan Turan Azerbaijani has forgotten that in a very critical moment Iran by sending about 1000 military man to Fizuli did try to stop self deface unites of Arstakh (Karabakh) in to advance in the direction of Kur river in 1994 .. Iran by acting in this way indeed secured the survival of “Azerbaijani republic” …at the same time Turkish President Özal was threatening Armenia with bombs etc .. The same Azerbaijani has forgotten how Russian OMON troops did help Azerbaijani to deport peaceful Armenians living in villages around Artakh .. and not to forget how Azerbaijani got support for its aggression from different kinds terrorist and radical Islamist groups (Taliban) from South Caucasus and Afghanistan (Mujahedin)

    • Nshan said:

      Ed, you’d better be careful with your thoughts. Menk erp petk e verj tank mer animast khoskerin. Meghadrelov turkerin, azerinerin, rusakan omonin, parsiknerin (urishner naev vratsinerin) menk voch mi bani chenk hasni. Chek kartsum vor bolorin meghadrelov and dnelov mek sharki vra dranov menk nrants dartsnum enk bnakan dashnakitsner mer dem? Mtatsek ays masin.

  2. Z said:

    Let aliev not harbour false hopes !!! Never, in no case will they get Artsax, impossible !

  3. Hove said:

    Don’t you get it! never can trust Muslim neighbors states. Even Iran has long and deep regional problem with Azerbaijan but Iranians keep their relation with Azerbaijan just because Azerbaijan is a Muslim state, but believe or not Iranians trust Armenians more than Azerbaijan. You can see how Ahmadinejad spoke about Karabakh issue in Baku with out getting any side.

  4. Arn.Sweden. said:

    HMMM – !!! – TURKISH AZERBADJAN TERRITORRY IS BIGGER IN IRAN THAN AZEBADJAN ITSELF.

    SURELY IRAN WILL FACE PROBLEMS IN THE FUTURE.

    THE KURDISH PEOPLE AND THE IRANIANS ARE OF THE SAME MEDIAN INDOEUROPEAN DESCENT BY THE WAY.

    MMM-!!!.

    Arn.Sweden.

  5. facts said:

    well, Dr Ahmadinejad was governor in Ardebil provice of Iran (mostly Azeri speaking). I think the Iranian president is well aware of Pan Turan and that Turkish and Azerbaijani nationalist and fascists have long term plans to divide Iran. If today “brother” Ilham speaks of Yerevan being “historic Azerbaijani land” tomorrow he will openly mention Teheran being centaury old “Turkish” land! Authorities in Baku are abusing skilfully Arstakh (Karabakh- to promote nationalism within Iran and within parts of Iranian-Azeri Diaspora …

    When Baku authorities are in Nakhichevan they are mostly addressing Iran, while pointing to Armenia! But this was Iran which by swapping territories with Turkey created a land corridor between Nakhichevan and Turkey..

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