Today Iran is ruptured with the inevitable consequences of the brutal mullahcratic rule, whether by the continuous multitudinous protests against the blatant violations of human rights or international sanctioning of the country amidst the ruthless theocratic system.
In the mess of such developments within the country or, rather, in desperation, rising from the possible revolution, official Tehran seeks other ways to control its people. One of such vessels seems to be its xenophobic rhetoric.
Here, the complicated emotional turmoil of Azerbaijani-Iranian ties is of particular interest. It is a fact that the relations between the two countries have been on and off for decades but the recent sparks of anti-Azerbaijani policy within the Iranian state, which in the long run affects the general public, only served to raise more tension in the region.
There is no arguing that within the last year, the tensions have particularly escalated whether due to Iran‘s show-off military drills on the border with Azerbaijan or anti-Azerbaijani actions in Iran, with the pinnacle of it all being the terrorist attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran. An abundance of facts, such as no transparent investigation of the crime, as well as lack of action from police, besides other things, made it clear that the attack was preplanned and the Iranian regime has played its part in it.
Amid these developments, one can’t help but wonder how safe it is today to travel to Iran for Azerbaijani citizens. News emerging in local media stating that Azerbaijani citizen Farid Safarli has gone missing during his travel to Iran leads to sticking to a negative assumption to the question.
Sources claim that Safarli arrived in Iran on February 20 and was supposed to return on March 5. However, all contact was lost with him on March 4, just a day prior to his departure. In response to the information, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has sent a note to the Iranian embassy in the country and reminded that the Azerbaijani government has called for its citizens to refrain from visiting Iran following the embassy attack.
This leads one to believe that in today’s realities, Iran is dangerous for Azerbaijani citizens. The disappearance of Farid Safarli could very much be just that. However, taking in mind all the surrounding anti-Azerbaijani policies it makes sense to believe that the Iranian regime stands behind it. Could the missing of the Azerbaijani citizen be due to espionage? And if so, why does the Mullah regime need Azerbaijani spies?
Hunting for spies among Azerbaijanis could very much be the next strategy of the regime to ensure backup outside of the country.
So, where could the two countries possibly go from here? If Iran does indeed resort to such lawlessness, then the brighter path of the bilateral ties doesn’t seem achievable in the near future. Besides, the lack of accountability or immediate action from the Iranian part in regard to the terrorist attack on the Azerbaijani embassy is indicator enough of the country’s devoid of determination for the normalization of relations.
Until the Iranian regime takes definite actions and takes reasonability for its xenophobic policy progress could not be possibly reached.