The Iranian Threat against Azerbaijan

The ongoing Iranian war games on the border with Azerbaijan illustrates the Iranian Neo-Safavid irredentist threat against the independent Republic of Azerbaijan. The excuse for the maneuvers is the Israeli security presence in Azerbaijan and the particularly close Azerbaijani-Israeli alliance. Would the Iranian military invade Azerbaijan in response to Israel’s destruction of Iran’s nuclear weapons program? This is not inconceivable. At the very least is Iran trying to intimidate Azerbaijan with such a prospect in order to pressure it to end the Israeli military presence on Azerbaijani soil. It is no secret that the Khomeinist regime covets the Caspian region and Central Asia as a whole and invading Azerbaijan might be a start. It should be kept in mind that half of the Azerbaijani people live in Iran and half in independent Azerbaijan.

The Iranian threat against Azerbaijan and Central Asia should be taken seriously. This illustrates the need for a wider defense alliance against Iran between Israel, many Arab countries and predominantly Muslim countries of the former Soviet union. The missing piece of the puzzle however is still the generational struggle in Riyadh where the older generation still opposes normalization with Israel as advocated by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and the younger generation of Saudi leaders. It is unreasonable for Riyadh to delay normalization any longer when it in any case will happen when MBS becomes king as this delay endangers regional security for all. 

President Joe Biden should personally undertake a charm offensive to persuade King Salman to normalize ties with Israel as this could enable the formation of an overt defense alliance against Iran in the wider region. Much is a stake for many nations and it is completely unreasonable that the absolutely dead Palestinian question would be allowed to sabotage the emergence of a new regional security architecture.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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