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Iranian President Congratulates Aliyev on Re-Election as Azerbaijan President

By Nigar Bayramli February 9, 2024

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi congratulated Ilham Aliyev on his re-election as president, who was overwhelmingly re-elected in the snap presidential election on February 7, 2024. / Minval.az

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has congratulated Ilham Aliyev on his re-election as the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, who won the new term in snap presidential elections on February 7.

In his message, Raisi expressed hope for the promotion of "friendly and fraternal relations" between the two countries, according to the official website of the Azerbaijani president.

“I am convinced that during Your Excellency`s presidency, we will again witness the steady development of friendly and fraternal relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan,” he added.

Referring to the ancient historical, religious and cultural commonalities between the two neighboring countries, the Iranian president said that shared interests in various areas “have created a strong foundation for the expansion of relations between our states”.

The Iranian Embassy in Azerbaijan also published a congratulatory message on the re-election of Aliyev as President on the embassy’s account on the platform X.

“We are confident that in the coming period, a new page will open in the relations between two fraternal and Muslim countries – Iran and Azerbaijan,” the message read.

According to official preliminary results announced by the Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan, Aliyev, presidential candidate from the ruling New Azerbaijan Party won 92.12% of votes. Aliyev has been re-elected for a seven-year term.

It is particularly noteworthy that for the first time in the history of independent Azerbaijan, the elections were held throughout the entire territory of the country. District election commissions have been formed in the liberated territories.

Tehran-Baku relations have been strained in the recent years over several issues, including Azerbaijan's close military ties with Iran’s archrival Israel, which Tehran describes as a “security threat”, and a gunman attack on Azerbaijan's embassy in Tehran in January 2023.

Diplomatic activity at the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran was completely suspended following the bloody incident. However, after several months, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry received appeals from Iran to restore the work of the Azerbaijani diplomatic mission in Tehran.

On January 27, 2023, an Iranian national carried out an armed attack on the Azerbaijan embassy in Tehran, killing an Azerbaijani security officer and injuring two others. The gunman, identified as Yasin Hosseinzadeh, was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle when he broke into the embassy building and killed the Azerbaijani officer. Iran said the attack stemmed from personal reasons, but Baku sees it as an act of terrorism.

Kazem Gharibabadi, the deputy of international affairs of the Iranian Judiciary and Secretary of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, announced on January 29 that the verdict of the defendant related to the attack on the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran will be announced in the coming day.

Tehran also opposes Azerbaijan’s plans to establish the Zangazur corridor, a transportation link between mainland Azerbaijan and its Nakhchivan exclave through southern Armenia, over concerns that it would sever Iran's 40-km land border with Armenia.

The establishment of the corridor was agreed upon as part of the tripartite statement that ended the 2020 war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Yerevan committed to ensuring the safety of transport links between the western regions of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan, allowing unimpeded movement of citizens, vehicles, and goods in both directions.

Meanwhile, Tehran and Baku have agreed to establish new transport and electricity supply links connecting mainland Azerbaijan to Nakhchivan via Iran. In October 2023, the construction operation of the Aghband road bridge over the Araz River kicked off as a new transport link between the East Zangazur economic region of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan through Iran’s territory.