Israel-Azerbaijan Joint Committe
Israel-Azerbaijan Joint Committe MFA comm

Iran’s behavior in handling the crisis with Azerbaijan reflects the mullahs’ regime’s disregard for international laws, principles and conventions. The regime’s problem with the Azerbaijanis can be summed up in its claims that the territory of Azerbaijan has become a “theater where the Israelis run free.”

Although the mullahs acknowledge the “strength” of Iran-Azerbaijan relations, as confirmed by Foreign Minister Hussein Abdullahian, the allegations about the presence of Israeli troops in Azerbaijan have prompted the mullahs to escalate tensions and escalation with Azerbaijan’s neighbor, despite the “strength” of relations.

Azerbaijan is a sovereign state that has the right to act on its territory in accordance with the principles of good neighborliness and respect for the rules of international law. This right means absolute sovereignty of the supreme state over its territory.

Therefore, any Israeli presence on the Iranian-Azerbaijani border is not supposed to affect Iran in any way and is not considered a “geopolitical change in the region” as the mullahs believe.

The problem with the Iranian regime is that it wants to impose its security vision on neighboring countries, which it treats from a haughty perspective that does not recognize the right of these countries to act as their national interests dictate.

What is strange is that the same criteria that the mullahs have made about the alleged Israeli presence on the Iranian border are denied by the Iranian regime in managing relations with Syria, for example.

The IRGC is allowed to approach the Israeli border, taking advantage of the Syrian state’s weak grip on its entire territory, and acting according to the geopolitical conditions produced by the Syrian crisis.

There is also Iranian military and material support for the Lebanese Hezbollah and other organizations considered an advanced military arm capable of waging wars and unleashing proxy threats for the benefit of the Iranians. Iran’s irrationality cannot justify the mullahs’ actions with their Azerbaijani neighbors.

Otherwise, Israel has the right to mobilize its forces on the borders of Syria and Lebanon and invade the borders of these two Arab states to drive out the Iranian militias, which everyone knows threaten Israel’s security. I am certainly not calling here for similar Israeli action on its borders with Syria and Lebanon.

We are not supporters of war. I do not justify or support such violations that flout international law, undermine the UN Charter and violate its principles. But I am only referring to a similar situation that illustrates the gravity of Iranian behavior and its potential implications for international security and stability.

The mullahs’ regime used to apply the theory of proxy war and war from a distance. But it feels a major provocation if what it sees as a military threat approaches the Iranian border, even though that threat may not exist in the first place. But this is one of the results of the conspiracy theory or it is meant to camouflage other Iranian objectives and plans.

Official Iranian apprehension about Azerbaijan’s close relationship with Israel and Tel Aviv’s supply of modern weapons to Baku, including drones, is not long in coming. But what is not said in Iran’s statements is Azerbaijan’s concern about its relations with Turkey. Ankara has provided significant assistance to Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh war.

It has also promoted the idea of “two states, one nation.” This is a matter of concern for the mullahs. But they don’t want to stir this angle just because they are on the border of Turkey in Syria.

In short, the mullahs do not want us to think like them. They don’t want to play with each other according to the same rules of the game that they play regionally.

They are well aware that the roles are reversed; their claim about their “legitimate” presence in Syria could be equivalent to that of any other party that says it is in Azerbaijan at the official invitation of the Azerbaijani government. The mullahs are also aware of the operational impact of the presence of Israeli and Turkish drones in Azerbaijan.

According to reliable reports, the use of Israeli attack drones, missiles, anti-armor weapons and other weapons by Azerbaijani forces in last year’s Nagorno-Karabakh war played a major role in resolving the war to the benefit of the Azerbaijani army. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards recently conducted exercises on the Azerbaijani border, described as the largest since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

To some observers, these were serious Iranian preparations for a possible military escalation on the border with Azerbaijan. Through this escalation, Iran would seek to pressure Azerbaijan to dissuade it from cooperating with Israel and, to a lesser extent, Turkey, lest Azerbaijani territory be used against Iran in a possible confrontation.

However superficial this pretext may be, it provides Israel with a strong reason to convince the international community of the extent of Iran’s provocations. The mullahs, who repeat day and night that they will not tolerate Israel’s presence in their neighborhood, in return unintendedly give Israel the same right: the right not to tolerate any Iranian military presence in its neighborhood either.

Dr.Salem AlKetbi is a UAE political analyst and former Federal National Council candidate.

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