Washington, D.C., USA - Iran’s state-run radio published a critical report about Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the United States, Elin Suleymanov, speaking at a panel during the AIPAC 2013 Annual Conference on March 3, 2013.
Official Tehran’s anti-Semitic diatribe attempted to drive wedge between the Azerbaijani and Jewish people and between Azerbaijan and Israel. Clearly, the Iranian leadership is concerned over the growing and successful partnership Azerbaijan has developed with the United States and Israel.
Azerbaijan, which is home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the Muslim world, currently provides up to 40% of Israel’s energy demand and the Ambassador stated more cooperation between Israel and Azerbaijan would further deepen relations between the two countries.
In a commentary entitled “The land of no anti-Semitism” about Azerbaijan the day before the conference the influential Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted: “‘There is no anti-Semitism here and there never has been.’ This sentence was repeated to me over and over during my stay this week on the shore of the Caspian Sea. Jews, non-Jews, government officials, dissidents, local residents and Israeli diplomats and rabbis. Not only was this the constant refrain but I don’t remember ever being in a country where I felt so comfortable being identified as an Israeli. And Azerbaijan, in case you were not aware, is 95 percent Muslim, of the Shi’ite variety.”
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian joined the Iranian attack on Azerbaijan by harshly criticizing Azerbaijani Ambassador speaking at the AIPAC annual event and for expressing support for Israel and the Jewish community.
Ironically, in the best tradition of paranoia-driven conspiracy theories, both Armenian and Iranian statements are based on a poorly translated unchecked press-report rather than actual participation in the event or official statements.
While Armenia’s own close relationship and shady dealings with Tehran, including Armenian actions to bypass international sanctions on Iran are well known and documented, the attempts by the American Armenian lobby groups to demonize Azerbaijan for being Israel’s friend and attempts to isolate Israel in the region are contrary to advancing the U.S. national interests in Eurasia. Which is business as usual for Armenian lobby groups, which care only about their own narrow interests, and betray U.S. interests and taxpayers.
Over the years, the Armenian government and nationalist circles have been on the record expressing and fanning anti-Semitic statements. Beginning in mid-May 2008, pro-government print media and state-run Public Television have made outlandish anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic accusations against former president and current opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian (LTP). Most of the accusations appear to be harsher versions of previous allegations that surfaced right before and after Armenia’s disputed February presidential election. The small, pro-government Armenian Jewish community has expressed deep concern over the attacks, given the fact that anti-Semitic rhetoric has not been an issue in Armenia before, wrote then US Embassy in Armenia Charge d’Affaires Joseph Pennington in a US cable dated Jun. 18, 2008.
The Armenian lobby should stop playing an always destructive and obstructive role, and truly help Armenia by adhering to the United Nations Security Council resolutions which demand immediate withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces from Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and all other currently occupied Azerbaijani districts. Furthermore, the Armenian lobby should put its pressure on Yerevan government to stop the destruction of Azerbaijani cultural heritage, such only two remaining mosques (of 269 existing in 19th century) in today’s Armenia. Not content with physical destruction, the Armenian government re-names these mosques as “Persian” in an effort to whitewash its policy of cultural genocide against Azerbaijanis, Kurds and Turks.
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