August 19, 2022

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New steps in the relations between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan

In the last days of May, Shahin Mostafaev, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Joint Economic Commission of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, met in Tehran with the President, Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces and Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Energy, Oil, Roads and Urban Development. This trip was a symbol of the political will of the senior officials of the two countries to strengthen relations as well as the high level of trust between the parties.

During this visit, Shahin Mostafaev and Ali Akbar Mehrabian, Minister of Energy, reached an agreement to continue electricity supply projects and carry out works related to electricity transmission to Zange Zor East Economic Zone and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic through Iran. Completion of construction and operation of Khodaafarin and Qiz Qala-e-Si hydroelectric power plants and hydropower plants on the Aras River were also among the agreements reached between the parties. Importantly, it was decided that electricity generated in Nagorno-Karabakh, the  freedated city of the Republic of Azerbaijan, would be exported through Iran to Nakhchivan, Turkey and European countries. In the future, Iranian companies are expected to participate in the construction of Qarabagh power plants, as well as in the construction of an educational complex and a hospital in Qarabagh.

During the meeting between Shahin Mostafaev and Minister of Oil Javad Oji, the two sides were satisfied with the cooperation between the two countries, especially the successful implementation of the Turkmen gas transfer project through Iran to Azerbaijan and the development of cooperation in the oil and gas sector. For this reason, it was decided to sign new contracts for the development of oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea in the near future. Preliminary measures have been taken in this regard and the expert delegations of the two countries are continuing negotiations.

In the joint meeting of the Azerbaijani official with the Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Ghasemi, cooperation in the fields of transport and transit, industry, trade, investment and development of multilateral cooperation were also discussed. The agreement on accelerating the implementation of the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding to establish new contacts between the Zange Zor East Economic Zone in Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic through Iran and the completion of bridges within a year was also an important event of this meeting. In addition, the construction of a new car and pedestrian bridge over the Astarachai border river, as well as the construction of a cargo terminal in the Iranian city of Astara, was scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. The next project will be the construction of the Pars Abad-Imishli railway. The two sides also discussed in detail the participation of Iranian companies in the reconstruction of the liberated areas of Azerbaijan and the measures taken in this regard.

The opening and operation of two new borders between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Khodaafarin and Parsabad regions is also an important event that was agreed upon, which, if done, will have a positive impact on increasing trade. Currently, four borders are active in the Astara, Jolfa, Bilesvar and Poldasht, and passenger and car traffic is carried out through these borders. According to published statistics, the volume of trade between the two countries increased by 30% last year, 20% this year and road transport by 70%. The volume of trade between Iran and Azerbaijan in 2021 amounted to 440 million and 810 thousand dollars, the amount of exports from Azerbaijan to Iran was 43 million and 287 thousand dollars and imports from Iran was 397 million and 523 thousand dollars.

According to Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian during a meeting with Shahin Mostafov, the intensive nature of the reciprocal visits of high-ranking officials shows the progress of Iran-Azerbaijan relations.

The meeting of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan with Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, also showed the mutual trust of the two sides in strengthening defense and security relations. During the meeting, regional issues and the prospects of strategic and military cooperation between the two countries were discussed. Expressing satisfaction with the liberation of Azerbaijani territories, the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces said: “Iran is always interested in developing relations with Azerbaijan.”

Overall, the approach of the 13th Iran government, based on giving priority to strengthening relations with neighbors, has created a valuable opportunity for the continuation of positive developments in Tehran-Baku relations, and the new steps can serve the interests of Iran and Azerbaijan, especially in the economic field. Mr. Shahin Mostafaev is also trusted by the President of Azerbaijan and is an interested and motivated person to make progress in the relations between the two countries, and in this regard, we can hope that the agreements between the two countries will be implemented.

Given the positive developments in Tehran-Baku relations, as in the past, some supra-regional actors, bankrupt Tribalist and their affiliated media may take action, especially in cyberspace, to destroy the friendly relations between the two nations. The officials of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, who are well aware of the destructive factors, are expected to pave the way for the development of strategic relations by understanding each other’s sensitivities and taking care of the progress made in the relations between the two countries.

1424

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Original News : https://en.irna.ir/news/84763669/New-steps-in-the-relations-between-Iran-and-the-Republic-of-Azerbaijan

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