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Iran Hard-Line Tehran Daily Says Azerbaijan Should Hold Referendum On Joining Iran

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Iran’s ultra-hard-line "Kayhan" daily, which is said to reflect the views of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called for a public referendum in Azerbaijan to decide whether the country should join the Islamic republic.

The call is the latest sign of deteriorating ties between Tehran and Baku and follows a March 30 conference in Baku organized by groups seeking independence for Iran’s sizable Azeri minority, which includes prominent figures such as Ayatollah Khamenei and opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi.

Speakers at the conference, whose title has been rendered in English as "Tomorrow of the Contemporary Southern Azerbaijan," reportedly said that Iran faced a dire political future because of sanctions and international pressure, and predicted that the northwestern provinces -- which they referred to as "Southern Azerbaijan" -- will "inevitably" become independent.

Reports say the conference, which was organized by the so-called National Liberation Front of Southern Azerbaijan, was attended by activists, academics, and former Azerbaijani officials. Current Azerbaijani government officials were reportedly not present at the conference.

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Iran Hard-Line Tehran Daily Says Azerbaijan Should Hold Referendum On Joining Iran

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