Baku/Tehran: – Tension has been reigning between Iran and Azerbaijan for the last few weeks, with leaders of both countries threatening each other. Azerbaijani leaders have threatened that Pakistan’s military will infiltrate Iran if Iran launches an attack on Azerbaijan. Angered by this, Iran criticised the growing foreign interference in Azerbaijan as the cause for tensions on the border. The media in Iran and Azerbaijan claimed that Iran has targeted Pakistan and Turkey without direct mention.
Tensions on the Iran-Azerbaijan border have risen since the year-long conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. After emerging victorious in the 44-day war, Azerbaijan stepped up patrolling on the Iranian border. It also started imposing additional taxes on vehicles travelling from Iran to Nagorno-Karabakh. A strong reaction was received from traders in Iran. At the end of August, Azerbaijan closed the Nagorno-Karabakh route, blocking Iranian trade traffic.
Within a few hours after the tensions erupted, Azerbaijan launched an unannounced war exercise in the Caspian Sea near the Iranian border with Pakistan and Turkey. Iran has expressed outrage, accusing that war exercises started by Azerbaijan are illegal. The Iranian Foreign Ministry had reminded that Azerbaijan had violated the historic agreement regarding the Caspian Sea by holding war exercises with countries that are not a part of this maritime region.
But ignoring Iran’s displeasure, Azerbaijan held an exercise with the Turkish army in Nakhchivan province. During the training in Nakhchivan province, adjoining Iran, the Azerbaijan lawmakers threatened Iran. A member of parliament threatened that the Pakistan military would invade Iran if the Iranian army invaded Azerbaijan. Another lawmaker warned that Pakistan would attack Iran, adding that Sistan-Balochistan should be separated from Iran. Another lawmaker has gone to the extent of threatening to wipe Iran off the world map.
Angry reactions have been received from Iran. Iranian leaders Mohammad Reza Ahmadi Sangari and Ahmed Naderi have warned that Azerbaijan should properly consider before taking any action against Iran. Iranians have cautioned on social media that Azerbaijan cannot survive Iranian missiles.