By Saeed Azimi

New chapter has opened in Tehran-Baku ties: ambassador

December 28, 2021 - 21:52

BAKU, the Republic of Azerbaijan – A new chapter has been opened in relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, Tehran’s ambassador to Baku says, noting that the recent tension between the two countries that followed border clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia was “unintentional and artificial”.

“Now I can confidently say that a new chapter in the relations between the two neighboring countries has begun,” Abbas Mousavi tells the Tehran Times correspondent.

Ambassador also described Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian’s visit to Baku on Dec. 22-23 as positive as he held fruitful talks with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Parliament Speaker Saheba Gafarova.

In a post on his Twitter page on Dec. 22, Bayramov called his talks with Amir Abdollahian fruitful in which the sides discussed bilateral cooperation, developments in the Caucus region and efforts to stabilize the region.

“Interesting & fruitful exchange took place w/Foreign Minister of #Iran @Amirabdolahian. We discussed bilateral cooperation agenda, regional developments &future perspectives. We’ll spare no effort to further enhance our relations aimed at ensuring peace & stability in the region,” Bayramov wrote.  

There’s evidence that Israel intends to undermine ties between Tehran and Baku 

Mousavi also says Israel definitely will not be able to undermine the relations between Iran and Azerbaijan which their cultural, religious, ethnic, and linguistic affinities are rooted in history.

Following is the text of the interview:

How do you assess the visit of Mr. Amir Abdollahian to the Republic of Azerbaijan in the light of the recent tensions between Tehran and Baku? And do you think that the two countries managed to clear up the misunderstandings?

We feel that the tension that existed was unintentional and artificial and could not have arisen at all. These tensions, which were mainly rooted in cyberspace, and some of the issues that people are aware of, which, thank God, with the support of the leaders of the two countries and in line with neighborhood policy and prioritizing neighbors and active diplomacy of the 13th government, are examined and rooted in various dimensions. In the first contacts between the foreign ministers in New York and in the telephone calls that were made, it was decided that these tensions would be further investigated and we would go through these issues.

Thank God, this happened and we were able to overcome these tensions with the wisdom of the leaders of the two countries and the diplomats of the two countries, and I can honestly say that we overcame these tensions and a new chapter in the relations between the two friendly countries, brothers, neighbors and Muslims started in the area. The meeting that the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Raisi, had with Mr. Ilham Aliyev in Ashgabat was a turning point in this regard. Following the short meetings that our Foreign Minister had with his counterparts in some countries, led to Dr. Amir Abdollahian's visit to Baku today, December 22, 2021, during which he had a detailed meeting with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and his counterpart at the Foreign Ministry, and, of course, the meeting with Ms. Saheba Gafarova, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Now I can confidently say that a new chapter in the relations between the two neighboring countries has begun today, and we have passed this stage.

Recently, the first meeting in the format of 3+3 with the focus on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue was held in Moscow. Is holding another meeting within the format sill on the agenda?

This was the start of work. The 3+3 format's other meaning and interpretation is that the countries of the region rely on themselves to resolve regional issues. The Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey, Russia as the three largest countries in the region, along with the three countries of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia and Georgia are the six countries that are to continue work within this format. Georgia did not participate in this meeting due to differences with some countries in this format, but all members are trying to persuade this country to participate in the form of 3+3 so that, God willing, they can solve the problems of the region within this format. It seems that these countries want to turn this format into a stable mechanism in the regional order, and God willing, this will prevent foreign interference in regional issues.

Certainly, Israel is unable to influence centuries-old affinities between Iran and Azerbaijan The ambassador of the Zionist regime in the Republic of Azerbaijan is constantly posting rhetorical remarks against Iran, and you usually respond to him. In your opinion, what is the purpose of the anti-Iran rhetoric of the ambassador of this regime and how do you assess the presence of this regime in the Republic of Azerbaijan?

In principle, both the leaders of the Zionist regime around the world and those who represent them in various regions, including the Republic of Azerbaijan, seek to magnify, show off and show what is not real. We see that they are showing themselves in the Republic of Azerbaijan and occasionally scolding the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is close to the Republic of Azerbaijan; and it has been felt and evidence has been obtained that they intend to influence and overshadow the relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Thank God, with the wisdom of our officials and the officials of the Republic of Azerbaijan, evidence has been obtained that these movements, which are mainly ceremonial, are baseless and some of the ceremonial actions of the regime’s ambassador in Baku have been stopped and thank God they have not succeeded in affecting the relations between two friendly and neighboring countries and Muslims. Basically, a regime that is fake and rootless will not have a place among the people of countries that have thousands of years of roots and deep ties and are related and have the same language, religion, culture and traditions, and will certainly not be able to influence these ties. You saw that any movement and propaganda [by the Zionists] will surely face a serious reaction. Up to now, they have not achieved their goals and God willing, they will not.