“Secular immunity” is boosting: A new page in Azerbaijan-Iran relations” – OPINION

2018/03/198fe80c94ac94b7714ff7811337c78a_1519215523_1519821548-1520242276.jpg
Read: 1997     17:28     05 March 2018    

By military expert Vugar Miraslanov

Despite numerous ups and downs, the relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Azerbaijan are improving. The regime of sanctions that dominated in Iran, the clerical expansion of the previous Iranian governments into our society with “secular immunity”, the attempt of the Western countries to benefit from Azerbaijan against Iran and the suspicious close relations of Iran with Armenia hindered the improvement of these relations.


Striving for oil reserves in the Caspian Sea, Iran, which has huge oil basins in the southern part, cast a shadow on these relations. Despite all this, there is a mutual empathy between Iran and Azerbaijan that the outside observer cannot realize. The source of this empathy is our common 2,000-years history, ethnic connections, unbroken kin relationships, and the similarities in mental concepts.

It is obvious that the relations between Azerbaijan and Iran are a sleeping giant dreaming for the last time. It is waiting for a slight boom to wake up and compensate the time it lost while sleeping. Certainly, the fact that Iran, our close neighbor failed to rank the 5th in trade turnover, can be considered unusual. This low level of trade relations is also caused by the reasons that don’t depend on the two countries. Those are objective reasons that are not related to us and subjective ones that are related to us. From the objective point of view, the sanctions against Iran stagnate the trade relations between the two countries. From the objective point of view, it is difficult to export oil and oil products to Iran which has strong oil industry. For this, we need to build a very strong oil refining and chemical industry. Iran's attention and investments in this area weakens our potential of exporting such products to this country. As our non-oil industry is weak, our offer of industrial products to Iran is also low. On the contrary, if our country doesn’t develop a sustainable industrial plan, the likelihood of expansion of industrial products from Iran is very strong. It will be difficult to deal with this problem through civilized ways, and we will need to apply administrative barriers. And this can hinder the sincerity and trust between our countries.

As for the cooperation in military industry, Azerbaijan managed to maintain some areas of its industry potential it built during the Soviet period, while Iran, making great investment in its military industry, tries to update the morally outdated weapons. In this regard, Iran and Azerbaijan can provide assistance to each other. Iran can assist Iran to produce new aviation and missile types, precision-guided munition, explosives and missile fuel. It is also possible to produce these weapons in collaboration.

However, there are some difficulties in this field. Western countries are envious about the Iran’s cooperation with any country in military sphere and try to impose sanctions. On the other hand, Azerbaijan is still unfairly subjected to the sanction specified in the 907 Section applied by the U.S. Congress. The U.S imposes this sanction mainly against those countries which attempt to breach the international security and pursue the policy of occupation. This imposition of this sanction against our country which is subjected to military aggression is an inexplicable lack of law. This is also a lack of justice. This creates a discrepancy between the UN resolutions, the international law and the U.S. legislation. If giant and powerful states do not respect the international law, then why we cannot build effective military relations with Iran which is also subjected to sanctions? This rhetoric question will be repeatedly voiced much stronger until the application of Section 907 is abolished.

In regard to the these issues, the visit of the Minister of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Brigadier General Amir Hatami to Azerbaijan causes great interest. Of course, the visit took place at the invitation of the Azerbaijani Defence Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov. The invitation may have some significant reasons.

Thus, the Armenian army has occupied the part that our country borders Iran. They have created a contact line directly with the Iranian army. This issue demands a solution to several many important, deloicate and non-standard problems between the Iranian and Azerbaijani Armies.  In this regard, both countries are keen to have a close relationship between the two armies. However, such meetings could take place between chiefs of general Staff or border services and the problems could be directly solved.

The visit of the Iranian minister showed that Iran attaches great importance to this visit. It thinks about bot only solution of current issues, but the prospects as well. The failure in reaching nuclear agreement between Western countries, mainly the U.S. and Iran stopped the process of Iran’s being out of the isolation. Unlike the decision of the Obama administration in this respect, this decision doesn’t look like a position agreed by the Trump administration with Republicans party and the U.S. expert council. If Trump is not elected for the second time, in this case,  U.S. government’s position in regard to Iran can change after three or four years. In such a case, in terms of the prospects of further state, the Iranian military leadership will try to learn about the behavior of the Azerbaijani side from the first source. If this assumption is true, then we can soon witness the intensification of understanding and cooperation initiatives between our countries.

Banu Salmanli

Sabina Hasanova



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“Secular immunity” is boosting: A new page in Azerbaijan-Iran relations” – OPINION

2018/03/198fe80c94ac94b7714ff7811337c78a_1519215523_1519821548-1520242276.jpg
Read: 1998     17:28     05 March 2018    

By military expert Vugar Miraslanov

Despite numerous ups and downs, the relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Azerbaijan are improving. The regime of sanctions that dominated in Iran, the clerical expansion of the previous Iranian governments into our society with “secular immunity”, the attempt of the Western countries to benefit from Azerbaijan against Iran and the suspicious close relations of Iran with Armenia hindered the improvement of these relations.


Striving for oil reserves in the Caspian Sea, Iran, which has huge oil basins in the southern part, cast a shadow on these relations. Despite all this, there is a mutual empathy between Iran and Azerbaijan that the outside observer cannot realize. The source of this empathy is our common 2,000-years history, ethnic connections, unbroken kin relationships, and the similarities in mental concepts.

It is obvious that the relations between Azerbaijan and Iran are a sleeping giant dreaming for the last time. It is waiting for a slight boom to wake up and compensate the time it lost while sleeping. Certainly, the fact that Iran, our close neighbor failed to rank the 5th in trade turnover, can be considered unusual. This low level of trade relations is also caused by the reasons that don’t depend on the two countries. Those are objective reasons that are not related to us and subjective ones that are related to us. From the objective point of view, the sanctions against Iran stagnate the trade relations between the two countries. From the objective point of view, it is difficult to export oil and oil products to Iran which has strong oil industry. For this, we need to build a very strong oil refining and chemical industry. Iran's attention and investments in this area weakens our potential of exporting such products to this country. As our non-oil industry is weak, our offer of industrial products to Iran is also low. On the contrary, if our country doesn’t develop a sustainable industrial plan, the likelihood of expansion of industrial products from Iran is very strong. It will be difficult to deal with this problem through civilized ways, and we will need to apply administrative barriers. And this can hinder the sincerity and trust between our countries.

As for the cooperation in military industry, Azerbaijan managed to maintain some areas of its industry potential it built during the Soviet period, while Iran, making great investment in its military industry, tries to update the morally outdated weapons. In this regard, Iran and Azerbaijan can provide assistance to each other. Iran can assist Iran to produce new aviation and missile types, precision-guided munition, explosives and missile fuel. It is also possible to produce these weapons in collaboration.

However, there are some difficulties in this field. Western countries are envious about the Iran’s cooperation with any country in military sphere and try to impose sanctions. On the other hand, Azerbaijan is still unfairly subjected to the sanction specified in the 907 Section applied by the U.S. Congress. The U.S imposes this sanction mainly against those countries which attempt to breach the international security and pursue the policy of occupation. This imposition of this sanction against our country which is subjected to military aggression is an inexplicable lack of law. This is also a lack of justice. This creates a discrepancy between the UN resolutions, the international law and the U.S. legislation. If giant and powerful states do not respect the international law, then why we cannot build effective military relations with Iran which is also subjected to sanctions? This rhetoric question will be repeatedly voiced much stronger until the application of Section 907 is abolished.

In regard to the these issues, the visit of the Minister of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Brigadier General Amir Hatami to Azerbaijan causes great interest. Of course, the visit took place at the invitation of the Azerbaijani Defence Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov. The invitation may have some significant reasons.

Thus, the Armenian army has occupied the part that our country borders Iran. They have created a contact line directly with the Iranian army. This issue demands a solution to several many important, deloicate and non-standard problems between the Iranian and Azerbaijani Armies.  In this regard, both countries are keen to have a close relationship between the two armies. However, such meetings could take place between chiefs of general Staff or border services and the problems could be directly solved.

The visit of the Iranian minister showed that Iran attaches great importance to this visit. It thinks about bot only solution of current issues, but the prospects as well. The failure in reaching nuclear agreement between Western countries, mainly the U.S. and Iran stopped the process of Iran’s being out of the isolation. Unlike the decision of the Obama administration in this respect, this decision doesn’t look like a position agreed by the Trump administration with Republicans party and the U.S. expert council. If Trump is not elected for the second time, in this case,  U.S. government’s position in regard to Iran can change after three or four years. In such a case, in terms of the prospects of further state, the Iranian military leadership will try to learn about the behavior of the Azerbaijani side from the first source. If this assumption is true, then we can soon witness the intensification of understanding and cooperation initiatives between our countries.

Banu Salmanli

Sabina Hasanova



Tags: