Baku breaks Iranian clerics’ ideological and worldview concept

ARVAK Center comment, 22.02.2024

On 16.02.2024 it became known that in January this year Azerbaijan has exported to Israel more than 523.5 thousand tons of oil costing $296,947,000. These figures show that Israel took first place in the list of Azerbaijani oil importers and increased the volume of Azerbaijani hydrocarbons exactly during the operation of the Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.

The data provided by the Azerbaijani official sources indicate that Baku not only ignored the calls of Islamic solidarity, mainly from Iran, to stop economic cooperation with the “Zionist regime”, but also defiantly publishes information about the deepening of this cooperation in the days and months of Tel Aviv’s operation for the actual destruction of Palestinian settlements in Gaza.

Perhaps this reality would not be so painful for Iran if the basis of Azerbaijan’s trade and economic relations with Israel were grain, food, pharmaceuticals or something similar. However, we are talking about oil, a strategic commodity, which is more than necessary to Israel than the weapons that are killing tens of thousands of Gazan civilians and literally turning their homes into piles of rubble. Traditionally, fuel is of existential importance in warfare, and the generous provision of fuel to a belligerent partner is a manifestation of solidarity and a tangible demonstration of political support, in addition to the material benefits of trade and economic process.

Thus, Baku demonstrated personal disrespect to Khamenei, who had already appealed on him several times to withdraw his support for Israel, and also neglected its own legal and moral obligations as a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Such behavior of Azerbaijan is especially dissonant against the background of the same West, which was proclaimed by the Iranian clerical regime as the breeding ground of world evil and the main enemy of Islam. Today, European countries exert political and diplomatic pressure on Tel Aviv to force it to pursue a peace agenda and negotiations to separate Palestine as an independent state from Israel. And the most active among them are even initiating the sanctions mechanisms against Tel Aviv, as, for example Holland is doing, trying to deprive Israel of the right to receive spare parts for its aircraft in accordance with the NATO program for developing and equipping the Alliance and non NATO ally armies with the latest F-35 fighter jets.

Some can state not only a political crisis in the OIC, which in this case is unable to provide a consensus on the common steps in defense of Palestine. There is also an ideological and conceptual crisis in the Iranian clergy, as “the enemies inclined to liberalism” and “the faithful brothers in Islam”, are actually changing their sides in the context of events in Gaza.