Ilham Aliyev in Tehran: the reverse side of the festive officialdom
Material posted: Pankratenko Igor N.Publication date: 08-03-2017
Fanfare sounded official reports about the visit of Azerbaijani President to Iran. Burnt by the preparation of the festive reports, journalists have been busy as well. The banners are collapsed, the carpet cleaned up and removed to the warehouse. The time has come for analysis, searching for the answer to the question "what was it?" And for that and don't like analysts, the real state of Affairs in their several materials, sometimes very categorical, different from the beautiful and Grand images in the mass media as an Iranian, Azerbaijani, and where do without them in Russia.

Contrary to popular notions, objective assessment of the outcome of a visit or partner does not carry particularly difficult. There are only three possible answers: the two States the results are closer, their positions increasingly diverge, the overall situation in bilateral relations, in fact, remained unchanged. This is the first.

Second. Worn into complete devaluation of the term "strategic partnership", which famously operated the commentators, means quite different than the signing of the joint, even the saturated kind words and the good wishes of the official declarations. In political terms, the "strategic partnership" means the presence of two States have common enemies/threats/challenges (underline), against whom they finished side by side at any moment to do something together.

Is there a similar "common enemy" Azerbaijan and Iran, except, of course, the notorious international terrorism, the thing is very slippery? The fact of the matter is that there.

Moreover, the real allies of Baku today (not saying it's good or bad, just evaluate the facts) are Ankara and tel Aviv, with certain reservations – Washington. Turkey is a regional rival of Iran, two other States – its irreconcilable opponents. Which, incidentally, felt it necessary to emphasize in a personal meeting with the Azerbaijani President, the Supreme leader of Iran.

"Evil Zionist regime is making more effort than all the enemies to weaken the brotherly relations between Iran and Azerbaijan, said Ali Khamenei at a meeting 5 March with Aliyev. – Therefore, our two countries should exercise vigilance in the protection of their friendly relations on the background of these alleged efforts."

And what, someone seriously believes that for the sake of the Azerbaijani-Iranian friendship Baku will abandon the traditional partnership with someone from the above three States, moreover, turn against him together with Tehran? And why does Azerbaijan, in fact, have to do it, since the partnership with this trio is the realization of its national interests?


Arose a temporary coincidence in the form of the laundering of criminal revenues, the growth of religious extremism and associated terrorism during the current visit of President Aliyev, the Chairman of the Chamber for supervision over financial markets of the Republic of Azerbaijan Rufat Aslanli, Executive Director of the office of financial monitoring under the Ministry of economic Affairs and Finance of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nasiri Meysam Ahmadabadi signed a "Memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Chamber for supervision over financial markets of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the financial monitoring Department under the Ministry of economic Affairs and Finance of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of fight against legalization of monetary funds and other property obtained by criminal means, and the financing of terrorism".

"We believe that terrorism stems from the Salafi and Wahhabi ideologies, poses a serious threat to regional security. It is necessary to erase forever in the region of extremist ideas," commented Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Sounds solid, of course. But the unbiased observer it is clear that today this document — the maximum possible in joint practical activities of the two States in the sphere of national security.

In the economic component of the notorious "strategic partnership" the situation is no less dramatic, not to say juicy. The basic countries-partners of Azerbaijan imports (2015) – Russia, the USA, Germany, Turkey, Japan and China. The main countries-partners of Azerbaijan's export for the same year Italy, Germany, France, Indonesia, Israel and the United States.

Now – Iran. Main trading partners in export are China, India, Turkey, Japan, Italy and Spain (the same in 2015). Main trading partners for imports United Arab Emirates, China, South Korea, Turkey, India.

As can perceive, neither Baku nor Tehran is in the top of the major economic partners of the other party are not present. I repeat: the numbers of places in the list of each country may vary, but the basic trend to nudity Frank: the economies of the two countries, bordering each other, are more interested in the third, primarily extra-regional partners than in the development of relations between them.

The conclusion is obvious. There is no "strategic partnership" in the right, but not the journalistic sense of the term, between Iran and Azerbaijan in the near future is not expected. Friendly neutrality in politics, which does not exclude, however, the periodic "exchanges pleasantries" what makes one and the other side. The slow development of economic ties, including at the level of regional projects. This is the maximum possible that is and will be, and which fully confirmed the visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Tehran.

But here's the paradox. This seemingly minor after "beautiful pictures" in covering the visit of the media high not just satisfied with Baku and Tehran. Moreover, it is a fundamental factor of security in the South Caucasus and the Caspian region. Politics is the art of the possible, and the two main political figures of the last visit — the President and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Hassan Rouhani here figure technical) — fully demonstrated that this art is possessed by a virtuoso. Neutrality is certainly better than hatred. But PseudoTUBE can be much more dangerous than a strong neutrality in the relationship.

Oh, how many would like anti-Iran Azerbaijan! Nothing less than Tehran's anti-Azerbaijani. Oh, how many would be ready for this promise, and even part of the promise to pay! In this regard, the trip Aliyev held talks with the Iranian side — the answer in plain text: "No wait!" And that's true, that makes you install the visit the highest rating. For real success, much more significant than "strategic imagination".


And remarkable, that doesn't seem to have attracted the attention of commentators. The messages of Russian news agencies about the Azeri-Iranian negotiations on the highest level identified only one piece: "Iran's President Hassan Rouhani at the joint with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev at a press conference in Tehran said that the parties discussed at the meeting of the trilateral format of cooperation Tehran-Baku-Moscow".

For certain categories of the local political public, this was another reason for optimism. For which, however, no particular reason, because the full quote from Rouhani as follows: "We with my colleague have discussed the trilateral formats of cooperation Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia, Iran-Turkey-Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan-Iran-Georgia. In the first format, i.e. the Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia, was previously made positive steps and held a trilateral meeting".

But from the fact that the format of the Tehran-Baku-Moscow was not the only "one of", the value of the fact of this discussion is not reduced. Because, in essence, we are talking about the fact that without the media hysteria and propaganda hype started serious work on the creation of new integration Association Turkey-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Iran. In case of success of this project, we are in a completely different region with completely different opportunities for its participants. And just for a 20-30 minute conversation on this topic Aliyev has cost to fly to Tehran.

Igor Pankratenko


Tags: Iran