Earlier this month, a clash between Iranian soldiers and Azerbaijani border guards left one Azerbaijani guard dead. In an email interview, Brenda Shaffer, a senior lecturer at the University of Haifa and a visiting professor at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, discussed Iran-Azerbaijan relations.
WPR: What has been the trajectory of Iran-Azerbaijan relations over the past 10 years?
Brenda Shaffer: Iran's policy toward Azerbaijan is one of the best illustrations of the gap between Tehran's ideological declarations and its actual realpolitik-guided policies. Despite sharing a common Shiite identity with Azerbaijan, Tehran has worked to undermine Azerbaijan's security since the latter's independence.