LONDON: Iran has threatened Israel and Azerbaijan in a video on state television, which set army operations to a song warning that “anyone who looks at Iran the wrong way must be destroyed.”
The video, whose lyrics were in the Azeri language, was shown a few days after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps held exercises near Iran’s 700-kilometer border with Azerbaijan.
“Israel … don’t stray too far from your path, don’t dig your own grave with your own hands … Iran declares this so that Azerbaijan knows and understands … anyone who looks at Iran the wrong way must be destroyed,” read the lyrics of the song, broadcast on Iran’s Azeri-language Sahar TV.
CaucasusWarReport, an open-source intelligence group, said that “the threat was openly made for the first time in an Iranian governmental channel Sahar in a controversial manner as the channel’s main language/audience is Iranian Azerbaijanis.
“With over 20 million Azerbaijani in Iran, the paranoia of an internal turmoil (rebellion) worries Iran.”
Azeris make up around 16 percent of Iran’s population and are the country’s biggest ethnic minority. A quarter of Tehran’s residents are Azeri and many others live in the northwest near the border with Azerbaijan.
Relations between the two states have grown increasingly tense in recent years. Tehran accuses Baku of destabilizing Iran by openly promoting secession for its ethnic Azeris.
Tehran is also wary of its relations with Israel, which is a major arms supplier to Baku.