Tehran, Iran – The destabilizer of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen in the Arab peninsula, Iran continues to overshadow Azerbaijan’s victory in Nagorno-Karabakh. Iranian Shiite expansionism is a great threat to the Arab countries.
Ever since 1979, the Iranian Shiite regime has been decried, considered as an expression of arbitrary and totalitarian government. Iranian Shiite regime, which says Turkey has sent foreign fighters to the region, has made a new scandalous accusation.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Said Hatipzadeh discussed the latest developments on the agenda at a press conference today.
Hatipzade, “Will there be any changes in the regional map, after the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis?” gave an answer to the question in the form of posed Turkey implicitly accusatory.
“There are no changes to the map of the region. We hope that the presence of foreign terrorists in the Nagorno-Karabakh region will cease. A peaceful solution to the Karabakh crisis will benefit the entire region.”
Hatipzadeh said that they closely and anxiously monitor the military tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
” We invite the parties to be cool and immediately stop the conflicts and move to dialogue, “Hatipzadeh said, adding that” Iran is ready to mobilize all its possibilities for the creation of dialogue between the parties.”
Iran and Russia are allies of Armenia, both countries are open eternal enemies of Turks, stretching from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan in West Asia. Nearly 30 millions of Turks, deprived of basic cultural and civil rights, live under the Iranian Shiite regime.
Azeri Turks under Iranian Oppression
Azeri Turks and other Turks are Iran’s largest ethnic minority, according to some estimates, up to 30 million live in Iran – almost one-third of the population. Most Azeri Turks are well integrated into Iranian society, although their traditional language is closer to Turkish than Persian. Most are Shiite Muslims and are afforded more freedoms in the Shiite-dominated Islamic Republic than non-Shiite ethnic minorities.
But Azeri Turks have faced political and cultural discrimination. The US State Department reported that the government prohibited Azeri Turks from speaking their language in schools, harassed Azeri Turks activists, and changed Azeri Turks town names, an open cultural assimilation and genocide.
Azeri Turks share the same ethnic background with the majority population in neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey. These groups were divided in 1828 by the Treaty of Turkmanchai, which gave the northern portion of Azerbaijan to Russia and southern portion to Iran. Azeri involvement in Iran’s government was greatly reduced by the rise of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1925. The Islamic Republic continued to suppress the Azeri Turks population, notably during a brutal 1981 crackdown against an Azeri Turks uprising in Tabriz.
Azeri Turks nationalism has grown over the last two decades, although most Iranian Azeri Turks are not openly in favor of separation from Iran. Nationalist publications aimed at Iranian Azeri Turks have been on the rise. Many also have access to Turkish satellite television, so their knowledge of Turkey and Azerbaijan has increased. In 1996, Mahmudali Chohraganli—an Azeri nationalist leader—was elected to represent Tabriz in the Iranian parliament. The government did not allow him to take his seat in the parliament and detained him.
In May 2006, large-scale protests erupted in Tehran and northwestern Iran after a state-run newspaper published a cartoon depicting an Azeri Turk as a cockroach. The newspaper was shut down, and the cartoonist and editor were jailed. The Supreme Leader blamed the protests on the West. “Azeri Turks have always bravely defended the Islamic revolution and the sovereignty of this country,” he said.
Azeri Turks mostly live in northwestern Iran, notably in the provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Ardabil, and Zanjan. About one-third of Tehran’s population is also reportedly Azeri Turks. Smaller numbers reside in Hamadan, Qazvin and Karaj.
What is Iran’s approach to Karabakh dispute?
Since conflict escalated recently between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the occupied region of Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, Iran has stood out with its contradictory statements on the dispute.
While Iranian officials say Upper Karabakh is an Azerbaijani territory and must be returned to the Azerbaijani administration, they deny claims that Iran is providing arms aid to Armenia.
Footage that has been widely circulating on social media showing trucks allegedly carrying military vehicles and weapons from the Iranian border to Armenia has left the Iranian administration in a difficult position.
The deputy governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, Aliyar Rastgoo, confirmed that brand new Kamaz trucks had been crossing the border to Armenia, though claiming the trucks were not carrying military equipment.
Iranian police have intervened harshly against demonstrations in many cities in support of Azerbaijan.
Though Azerbaijan has announced it will not halt military operations before liberating its occupied territories, Iran has called for an immediate cease-fire.
Further, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader in international affairs, has blamed Turkey for the ongoing war that started due to Armenia’s provocations.
Velayeti claimed that Turkey “insists” on the conflict that came after three decades of Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territory.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been strained since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory in Azerbaijan.
New clashes erupted on September 27 2020, and since then Armenia has continued attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces.
The OSCE Minsk Group -co-chaired by France, Russia and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire was agreed to in 1994.
Russia has brokered a new cease-fire agreement on November 09 2020. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded a withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.