Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:38AM
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier-General Hossein Dehqan
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier-General Hossein Dehqan

Iran has warned countries behind the ongoing crises in the Middle East, saying the plights they have created could one day bedevil themselves.

Defense Minister Brigadier-General Hossein Dehqan made the remarks in Tehran on Saturday after meeting his Azerbaijani counterpart Colonel General Zakir Hasanov.

Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier-General Hossein Dehqan and Azeri counterpart Colonel General Zakir Hasanov are seen in Tehran, April 16, 2017. (Photo by IRNA)

Dehqan cited Takfiri groups such as Daesh, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and their fellow “Wahhabi-Takfiri outfits” as well as the aggressive policies of the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, which target the region.

The terror organizations are influenced by Wahhabism, the official radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia. They have been wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq since 2014 but have also carried out attacks in Europe and the US.

Adding to the convoluted situation is Saudi Arabia's invasion of Yemen, which has overshadowed Israel’s continued aggression against the Palestinians.

“The aggregate sum of these situations has led to a buildup of threats, insecurity and instability in the West Asia region,” Dehqan said.

“Naturally, if these countries do not adopt responsible policies vis-à-vis this instability, the crisis will escalate day by day and afflict them," he added.

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Bilateral defense ties

The Iranian defense chief said recurrent reciprocal visits by Iranian and Azerbaijani officials show relations between the two Muslim neighbors are on a positive track. 

He hoped that this upward trend would also be witnessed in their defense ties and that the two countries would “not allow outside elements to undermine them.”

The Islamic Republic is not happy with Azerbaijan's close ties with Israel which is believed to have used the Caucasian country to assassinate Iran's nuclear scientists.  

Hasanov described Iran a “friendly and a brotherly” nation, saying his country sought expansion of defensive and military cooperation with the Islamic Republic.

Recent negotiations between the presidents of the two countries, he said, have fully paved the way towards development of mutual cooperation.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev visited Tehran in May and met with President Hassan Rouhani during a trip which also included a call on Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. 

Karabakh conflict

Dehqan hoped that Azerbaijan and Armenia would commit to a peaceful resolution of the conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region and would not allow outside parties to complicate the problem.

Given the region’s proximity to Iran, Hasanov said, Azerbaijan is committed to preserving security on its common borders with the Islamic Republic.

Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but it is controlled by separatists backed by Armenia.