SIDOROV I.E. Iran-Azerbaijan Relations During the First Year of M. Khatami’s Presidency


Ivan Evgenyevich Sidorov

Postgraduate Student, Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy of Russia,

Saratov State University named after N.G. Chernyshevsky

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Astrakhanskaya St., 83, 410012 Saratov, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article is devoted to the study of the Iran-Azerbaijan relations during the first year of Muhammad Khatami’s presidency. The main task of the research is to follow the evolution of Iran-Azerbaijan relations during that period, to describe the most important events of these relations and to find an answer to the question why such a successful beginning of the period led Iran and Azerbaijan to the verge of a diplomatic catastrophe. The coming of the liberal president Khatami to power in Iran created an opportunity to overcome mutual mistrust in the Iran-Azerbaijan relations and to direct them into a constructive course. The fact that in 1997-1998 Iran and Azerbaijan foreign policy agendas partly coincided also contributed to this concept. The first serious attempts to stabilize the Iran-Azerbaijan relations were made during the eighth OIC summit in Tehran, when Iran initiated passing of several documents, condemning the actions of Armenia in the Karabakh conflict. However, this proved insufficient to stabilize the relationship. Soon, because of problems in ethnic and energy spheres the Iran-Azerbaijan relations began rapidly to deteriorate. The priority given to relations with the United States by Azerbaijan served as an additional source of irritation for Iran. That eventually became the main reason for Iran to change its position on the international legal status of the Caspian Sea that created the basis for Iranian claims to Azerbaijan oilfields. In three years dramatic events of the first year of Khatami presidency led Iran and Azerbaijan to a military conflict in the Caspian Sea when Iranian warships drove away Azerbaijan research vessels from a contract zone Araz-Alov-Sharg.

Key words: M. Khatami, H. Aliev, Karabakh conflict, Eighth OIC Islamic summit, South Azerbaijan, Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan pipeline, the Caspian Sea.

Лицензия Creative Commons

Iran-Azerbaijan Relations During the First Year of M. Khatami’s Presidency by Sidorov I.E. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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