Iranian Parliament Dissatisfied with Map of Old Azerbaijan (updated)
Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend D. Khatinoglu, S. Ihamgizi / The Iranian Parliament is dissatisfied with the atlas map of Old Azerbaijan published by the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.
The map describes the territory of old Azerbaijan, including the country's Southern territory which is currently part of Iran. Protesting against its publication, the Iranian Parliament made an appeal to the Foreign Minister of Iran, Manucherkhu Muttaki.
Some twenty-one Iranian parliamentarians signed the statement against the publication in Baku, IRNA reports. The text of the statement was read by the Chairman of the Iranian Parliament, Khaddad Adel at the Parliamentary session.
According to the Parliamentarians, Iranian lands have been named as part of Azerbaijan. The parliamentarians are requiring that Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Tehran be called to the Foreign Ministry in order to present a note to him.
The Chairman of Iran's Parliament Commission for National Security, Aladdin Burudjerdi, highlighted dissatisfaction with the spread of this map in Azerbaijan. "The issue that the Iranian lands and the territories of several nearby countries have been named as part of Azerbaijan is the indicator of the US policy and Zionism in the region," Burudjerdi said, ISNA reported on 7 October.
According to Burudjerdi, Iran respectfully approaches the territorial integrity of its neighboring countries, ISNA reports.
"If territorial claims begin, firstly it needs to return the territories seized from Iran," the Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission said. Burudjerdi suspects Azerbaijan has sovereignty over seized Iranian territories.
According to the Director of the Historical Institute of Azerbaijan, Yagub Mahmudov, it deals with the unique map and it describes all territories that have been seized from Azerbaijan over centuries through unfair decisions.
Mahmudov said that in the near future, this publication will be translated into Russian and English and will be spread throughout many countries worldwide.
According to Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry's Press Secretary, Khazar Ibrahim, official protest from the Iranian side has not yet been received. He said that Burudjerdi's claims are groundless. "I call on the Iranian parliamentarians to become more responsible and keep themselves from making such statements," Ibrahim said.
As a result of the Russian-Iranian war in the 19th century, Turkmenchay and Gulustan agreements were signed. According to these agreements, Russia and Iran divided Azerbaijani territories. The Araz River divided the borders of Azerbaijan into North and South. Thus, the northern lands of Azerbaijan became part of Tsarist Russia and southern lands part of Iran.
After a 200-year occupation (by Tsarist Russia and the USSR), in 1991 Azerbaijan regained its independence. However, the Southern part of the Country still remains outside its borders due to the Araz River. The southern lands from this river remain part of Iran.