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Azerbaijani social media users are angry that Iran has begun the construction of two hydroelectric power stations called Khudaferin and Qiz Qalasi across the Araz River.
The fact is that part of the mounts and bridges included in these structures are in the Jabrail region of Azerbaijan, which is now under the control of Armenia as a result of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
In Azerbaijan, any contacts of neighbouring countries with the unrecognised Karabakh republic are always perceived with indignation. And this time, many were outraged that “Iran is building bridges in the occupied territory of Azerbaijan.” But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assures that everything is done with the knowledge and consent of the Azerbaijani government.
The most patriotic and nationalistic citizens of Azerbaijan already have a lot of complaints against Iran. In particular, the situation of the Azerbaijani national minority living there and Iran’s relations with Armenia (some believe that these relations are too warm).
Once news about the construction came out, angry publications immediately began to appear on social and other media platforms.
Journalist Mubariz Azerbaijanli notes that Azerbaijan has always supported Iran fraternally, while Iran, in his words, in turn has responded with “black ingratitude.”
“Iran, which verbally recognises the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and itself stealthily supplies oil and electricity to the Armenian separatists through Araz, should not throw at the feet of the Armenians the economic, political, religious and cultural bridges existing between it and Azerbaijan,” he writes.
Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov says that nothing “terrible” is happening, and Iran’s actions do not infringe on the interests of Azerbaijan.
The diplomat says an agreement to continue building hydropower plants and hydroelectric power plants over the Araz River was signed between Iran and Azerbaijan in 2016.
“This agreement is based on the principles of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the two states. The Iranian side perceives part of the fastenings and bridges that fall on the territory of Azerbaijan within the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” Khalafov explains.