BAKU: Azeri diaspora leader accuses Iran of insincerity

Azeri diaspora leader accuses Iran of insincerity

Yeni Musavat
9 Aug 04

In spite of its efforts, Iran will never be a friend of ours, the
deputy head of the Congress of Azerbaijanis of the World, Teymur
Eminbayli, has said. He accused Iran of restricting fundamental human
rights and conducting anti-Azerbaijani propaganda. Eminbayli said that
Tehran had established a “spying centre” in the Azerbaijani exclave of
Naxcivan under the guise of a consulate and also deployed a military
base on the border to monitor Azerbaijan’s territory. The following
is the text of R. Kazimli’s report by Azerbaijani newspaper Yeni
Musavat on 9 August headlined “Iran will not make a friend” and
subheaded “Teymur Eminbayli thinks one should not believe in sincerity
of this state’s officials”; subheadings inserted editorially:

The Iranian president’s official visit to Azerbaijan has
ended. Different opinions have been voiced for a few days about the
visit of the neighbouring country’s leader, his negotiations and
expected results. The statement that Iran regards Nagornyy Karabakh as
Azerbaijani territory has been the main focus of attention.

“Iran will never be a friend of ours”

Will Iranian-Azerbaijani relations really be on the desired level from
now on? Can one believe that our southern neighbour is sincere in
sharing our country’s most painful problems? We have talked to the
deputy chairman of the Congress of Azerbaijanis of the World (CAW),
Teymur Eminbayli, about this and other issues.

Eminbayli recalled that Azerbaijan is smaller than Iran in terms of
territory and population and it is also weaker from a military
standpoint. He said that Iran has always been violating Azerbaijan’s
rights by threatening to violate its airspace and ignoring our
position in the region. “That is despite Iran’s efforts to introduce
itself as a friend, it is absolutely impossible and senseless to
believe this.”

Eminbayli shared his views about political analyst and ex-presidential
advisor Vafa Quluzada’s opinion that relations with Iran should not be
spoilt because of the USA and agreed with Quluzada on some
points. “The USA should actually express precisely its position on
Azerbaijan and have a specific opinion. But it is not doing
so. However, let me add that Iran will never be a friend of
ours. Because our 35 million compatriots live there and the issue of
their rights is very topical today,” Eminbayli said.

He went on to say that Iran was controlling even the Internet and
restricting fundamental human freedoms.

Iran’s “spying centre” in Naxcivan

The CAW deputy chairman said that Iranian President Mohammad Khatami
had managed to deceive Azerbaijan’s late President Heydar Aliyev
during the latter’s visit to Iran in 2002.

“For instance, Khatami asked for permission to open an Iranian
consulate in Naxcivan Azerbaijani exclave and his wish came true. In
exchange, he promised to open our consulate in Iran but did not do
so. The fact is that many facilities in Naxcivan, including some
schools and hospitals, belong to Iranians now. At present, a spying
centre under the guise of a consulate is operating in this region. But
we have only our embassy in Iran which is directly working for this
country,” he said.

Eminbayli said that the Iranian leader’s statement on Karabakh was
insincere as well. “Let me draw your attention to one fact that there
are about 1,000 Armenians in Qarakilsa presumably a village near
Orumiyeh who are carrying out a propaganda campaign against Azerbaijan
and Turkey. The Iranian state television is facilitating the
process. In parallel, they are arresting and torturing our compatriots
who marched to Fort Bazz to mark the anniversary of Azerbaijan’s
national hero Babak .

“The second state language in Finland is Swedish since six per cent of
its population are Swedes. However, Iran does not let our compatriots
study in their mother tongue. How can we regard them as our friends

Iranian military monitor Azeri territories

The CAW deputy chairman said that Iran’s position on Nagornyy Karabakh
confirmed this opinion. Eminbayli recalled the occupation of Susa
during Azerbaijan’s ex-Speaker Yaqub Mammadov’s visit to Iran in the
spring of 1992 for Azerbaijani-Armenian peace talks .

“However, Iran should have respected the signing of an official
document in its capital. Everyone already knows that Iran does not
want Susa to be a Turkish and Muslim town. Iran has deployed a
military base on Khoroslu mountain near Azerbaijan and is monitoring
our territories from there. The Armenian defence minister was taken to
that base during his visit to Iran and was shown all our facilities
with the help of technical equipment. For this reason, Iranian
officials’ statements is only trickery. We should know this and
establish our ties with Iran as a state in line with our interests. It
is worth learning a lesson from Georgia in issues like this.”