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11.03.2013

Baku refutes false assertions from Tehran

All kinds of information that Iran has provided military assistance to Azerbaijan at the height of the Karabakh war are nothing but a lie with no grounds, national parliamentarians, politicians, and public figures told in an interview to Day.Az. On the contrary, Tehran, unfortunately, has been supporting the Armenian occupation regime one way or another ever since.

Previously, the media reported that the Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran and former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Mohsen Rezaee stated in an interview on “Seher” channel that Iran had allegedly provided assistance to the Azerbaijani Army in the battles for Karabakh by supplying military equipment and training the army staff. Besides, there was supposedly a great number of Iranians involved in the Armenian-Azerbaijani war, many of them killed or wounded.

It’s remarkable that in early March, the former head of the IRGC announced his intention to run for president of Iran, that’s to say he’s one of the prominent figures in the political life of the Islamic Republic. But to which extent are his words true?

We asked those who remember well the developments in those tragic years to comment a strange statement by the former commander of Iran.

In an interview with Day.Az, a political scientist Fikret Sadikhov, who was CEO of IA AzerTag during the Karabakh war, says it’s ludicrous to take pride in what was not indeed. He notes that if, as Rezaee say, such a country as Iran helped Azerbaijan, then why such a powerful state’ s aid did not lead Azerbaijan to the ultimate victory and the defeat of the Armenian forces?

All these statements sound improbable, especially many years later, Sadikhov stresses.

The political analyst questioned the possibility of concluding any military-technical agreement between Azerbaijan and Iran in those years, but, according to him, there is no doubt that today’s southern neighbor assists Armenia and cooperates with it through various contracts. “And the allegation that Iran provided any assistance to Azerbaijan sounds highly unlikely and looks like negligent attempts to justify its close military cooperation with Armenia,” — says the analyst.

Besides, Sadikhov does not rule out that “representatives of Iran trying to win over the population of Azerbaijan with such dubious statements, but these attempts are in vain.”

An Azerbaijani MP, a member of the Committee on Security and Defense Zahid Oruj also strongly challenges the veracity of the words of the Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran. “Tehran is trying to disguise its then position, to present itself as an ally of Azerbaijan and upstage all kinds of relations with Armenia,” — he said to Day.Az.

In his opinion, in fact, Iran wants to show that the events taking place in Azerbaijan at that period: chaos, economic and political anarchy, the problems in the military system – led to our defeat. And as if Iran had an interest in the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan allegedly participated with us in military operations against the Armenian invaders etc. In fact, the MP believes, it reveals the responsibility of the political leadership of Iran in the period, its leniency in relation to Armenia, and its neutrality in critical situations.

Attempts to raise the issue of the then Iranian policy in the media and strongly exaggerate it explicitly show that Iran is trying to present itself a supporter of Azerbaijan and distance itself from their actually existing relationships with Yerevan, the deputy believes. “Tehran’s policy on Karabakh has never been in favor of Azerbaijan,”- stressed the MP.

He also mentioned the sale of things looted during the war in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in Iran.

Commenting on the statement by the former head of IRGC, a military expert Uzeir Jafarov said that Rezaee is trying to play on the feelings of Azerbaijanis and earn votes ahead of the presidential elections in Iran. “By making such statements, he wants to win over the Iranian citizens of the Azerbaijani nationality,” — said the expert.

According to him, there was a certain shortage of ammunition in Azerbaijan during the Karabakh war and people did the best to find it in different ways and different places. “But I would not presume to say that Iranians fought here and fell on our land. I personally took part in the fighting in the Fizuli direction, was appointed a deputy commander of the brigade, no Iranian representatives involved there. Instead, my comrades-in-arms and I  witnessed cases when the servicemen of the armed forces of Armenia from neighboring Iran informed our coordinates on the radio to their artillery, shelling on the Azerbaijani positions,”- said our interviewee.

An Azerbaijani MP, a member of the Committee on Science and Education Govhar Bakhshaliyeva, also commented on the above statement of the former Iranian commander. “The allegations are very doubtful. Iran has always led a very hypocritical policy towards Azerbaijan at the state level. They professed they supported us, but we remember that in the early 90’s, when the Azerbaijani delegation was in Iran to hold talks there because Tehran had taken the mediation for the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict — it was at this time Shusha was occupied,”- reminded the deputy.

In her view, this is the real policy that Iran pursues towards Azerbaijan and, in particular, in the settlement of the Karabakh dispute. Iran has always supported Azerbaijan in words but indeed strengthens comprehensive ties with Armenia.

 “Armenia has always profited the support from Iran,” — Bakhshaliyeva said, noting that Iran is in fact a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the basic principle of which is the Muslim solidarity. However, in spite of all the documents adopted by the organization, contrary to its charter and program, Tehran has always supported Yerevan, she stressed.


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