CHAPTER 25 THE KARABAKH-AZERBAIJAN CONFRONTATION AND THE PROPAGANDA OF UNIFICATION OF THE “TWO AZERBEIJANS”

The Tehran periodical “Varliz” published the answer of Dr. Javad Haiiat on the issue of the “unification of two Azerbaijans”. The author stated;

“We are Iranians and Iran is our state. We won’t allow anybody to carve our state”.

Especially with the coming to power of the Azerbaijani Popular Front, the Baku propaganda about the “unification of two Azerbaijans” has intensified. It is the Iranian Atropateni that Baku is laying claims to with the aim of attaching it to the present Azerbaijani Republic, which as the Iranian authors have not once proved is in no way related to the historical Irainian Atropateni district.

This issue has become a state policy now. While running for president, in December 1922 in a session of Popular Front, A. Elchibei, expressing his discontent towards the Iranian government, declared that;

“The authorities of the neighbouring state are obliged to grant ethno-cultural autonomy to the southern Azerbaijanis on their territory of inhabitance according to norms of international law.”

Already a President of Azerbaijan, A. Elchibei appealed to millions of Azerbaijanis in Iran”, welcoming the formation of “the southern Azerbaijani National Liberation Front”.

The appeal said;

“Despite the attempts of Iran to suppress the national-liberation movements of the Azerbaijani-Turks, the movement has already made its resolute step on Southern Azerbaijan’s way to independence. That criminal force of Russo-Persian alliance can’t prevent the nation from its long-desired unification. With the fall of the Russian Empire and with the establishment of Independent Northern Azerbaijan, the victory of independence in Southern Azerbaijan and the unification of the seperated nation is a matter of time.”9

Before making such declarations, A. Elchibei would have better respect the internationally recognized human rights of minorities living within its borders and cease blockades and other offensive uses of force against Nagorny Karabagh.

The Chairman of Supreme Council of Nakhichevan H.Aliev in an interview to the reporter of the newspaper “Nakhichevan”, made another announcement concerning the issue of “two Azerbaijans”. He mentioned that the unification of Northern and Southern Azerbaijans is imperative, but failed to mention which of them should be attached to the other.

The public opinion was disturbed with the Azerbaijani declarations of the formation of “National-liberation Front of Southern Azerbaijan.” The Irano-Azerbaijan Friendship Society hurried to condemn all those steps which aimed at deterioration of relations between the two states.10

The role of the Turkey was evident in instigating the penetration of numerous Azerbaijanis into Iran and anti-Iranian movement in Azerbaijan proper.

“The government of Azerbaijan is worried about the freezing of relations between the two countries. The analysts think that Azerbaijan can’t do much positive in this direction. The confrontation of super-powers is in process and the only thing Baku is able to do, is to understand the situation and try to control it”.11

As the Azerbaijani section of the radio “Liberty” reported, the Ambassador of Iran in Baku Ali Akbar Navahandian had made a sublle remark as a response to the demands of Azerbaijani authorities; “We don’t interfere in your internal affair, and would like you to act the same way.”

Dr. Davad Haiiat’s publication emboldened the Azerbaijani strivings and qualified the issue of “two Azerbaijans” as something false and invented. Recalling the past of his country, the researcher wrote that under the Guilistan (1813) and Turkmenchai (1828) treates not Azerbaijan was divided into two parts (as Baku declared), but a part of Iranian state had been occupied; i.e. the territory of present day Azerbaijan. J. Heiiat considers the idea of “unification” unprobable, at the same time nothing that if there lived 23 million Azerbaijanis in Iran and only 7 in Republic of Azerbaijan, then it would be reasonable for the minority to join the majority as they were so eager to live together with those in the South.12

Passing amid the chaos of political events, revolutions and rebellions the present day Azerbaijan is step by step achieving the self-awareness of an “Azerbaijani” as an ethnicity with its new meanings and colours. It is really a friable territorial unity of Turk, Talish, Tatar, Tat, Lezgi, Tsakhur, Uti, Tabassaranian, Kurd, Avar, Laktsi ethnicities and can be in no way related to Atropateni-Azarbaijan proper.

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