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IWP student discusses the future of “Southern Azerbaijan”

Vilen KhlgatyanIWP student and the Vice-Chairman of the Political Developments Research Center, Vilen Khlgatyan, has recently published an article analyzing a conference held in Baku on the future of so-called “Southern Azerbaijan” (i.e. northwestern Iran).  Mr. Khlgatyan also discusses the disturbing growth of the popularity of Islamism and Shariah Law in the post-Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

His article is available below:

Azerbaijan’s whims and fancies
April 19, 2013

By Vilen Khlgatyan

In late March a conference was held in Baku with the covert support of the Aliyev regime, titled “Tomorrow of the Contemporary Southern Azerbaijan.” The conference was organized by the so called South Azerbaijan National Liberation Front (SANLF), a rag-tag group of Iranian Azerbaijanis who are adherents to the ideology of Pan-Turkism. The participants made irredentist claims against Iran. Specifically they claimed that the dire political and economic situation inside Iran caused by Western sanctions will inevitably lead to destabilization, at which point, the SANLF would be ready to take control of “South Azerbaijan.” Attendees to the conference included Pan-Turkism activists, academics, and former Azerbaijani government officials. The conference also served to highlight the hypocritical foreign policy of Azerbaijan, where on the one hand Baku claims Armenia is an irredentist state, yet via proxy organizations like the SANLF, makes territorial claims on Iran.

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