What's Behind Fresh Tensions On The Iran-Azerbaijan Border?

What's Behind Fresh Tensions On The Iran-Azerbaijan Border?

Andrew H. Sweet

Tensions have increased recently between Tehran and Baku over three issues: a joint military drill that Azerbaijani troops conducted alongside their Turkish and Pakistani counterparts some 500 kilometers from the Iranian border; Azerbaijani restrictions on Iranian truck drivers' access to Armenia and the detention of two drivers; and Azerbaijani ties to Iran's archenemy Israel.

Touraj Atabaki, professor emeritus of the social history of the Middle East and Central Asia at Leiden University in the Netherlands, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that Tehran was concerned it was being sidelined.

Iran and Azerbaijan have enjoyed good relations in the past, but Tehran has increasingly expressed concern about alleged Israeli influence there.

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