Georgia is strengthening its business contacts with Iranian entities. That, in turn, is causing US officials to look askance, fearful that Tehran is trying to use Tbilisi to evade international economic sanctions.
Azerbaijan in late April crossed a self-imposed “red line” in its relations with southern neighbor Iran by dispatching Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov on a visit to Israel, Tehran’s arch-foe. Reasons for the timing of the move are not clear, but, so far, Tehran appears to be biding its time with a response.
There's a coffee shop in an out-of-the-way part of Baku where the walls are covered with illustrations from an early 20th century satirical magazine called Molla Nasreddin. The magazine represents a bygone era, when Azerbaijan was a font of new cultural trends in the Muslim world, pioneering such issues as female emancipation, anti-clericalism, anti-colonialism and labor rights
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.