BAKU: New Iranian leader might improve ties with Azerbaijan – TV

New Iranian leader might improve ties with Azerbaijan – TV

ANS TV, Baku
26 Jun 05

Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani was confident that
he would win the elections. But the election results proved surprising.

[Passage omitted: minor details]

The Iranian elections were carefully observed in Azerbaijan due to
the new leader’s attitude towards Azeris. The new president is said
to be of Azeri descent. His wife is Azeri. He used to be governor of
Ardabil and helped Azerbaijani citizens who came to Iran during the
Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict to settle in. He also provided aid to
[Azerbaijani] refugee camps. It is not known whether Iran’s attitude
towards Azerbaijan will change now.

Even though relations between the two countries have recently improved,
they cannot be considered as perfect due to the dispute over the status
of the Caspian Sea and Iran’s relations with Armenia. Relations with
Azerbaijan are also important for Iran. Due to increasing pressure
from the USA, Iran is trying to boost ties with neighbouring countries,
including Azerbaijan.

Incidentally, the replacement of the president is a perfect chance
to make fundamental changes to relations with Azerbaijan, if Iran is
really interested in this in view of the aforesaid.

Ceyhun Asgarov, ANS.

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