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Azerbaijan fears neighbor Iran’s radical influence FEATURE 03/03/2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Azerbaijan fears neighbor Iran’s radical influence

FEATURE

03/03/2011
ASTARA — The Iranian potatoes, oranges and raisins on sale in the bazaars of Astara are not the only signs of the Islamic republic’s influence in this Azerbaijani border town.

There is also the Iranian television station which beams the news according to Tehran into Astara’s homes and tea-houses in the Azerbaijani language.

Hundreds of Iranian trucks rumble north each day along the nearby highway, loaded with goods bound for Azerbaijani markets, but despite the trading links between the mainly Shiite Muslim neighbors, their political relationship has become increasingly strained — particularly over the issue of Islam.

Azerbaijan is a former Soviet state with a determinedly secular government, and there have been small but widely-publicised protests outside the Iranian embassy in Baku in recent weeks, accusing Tehran of supporting Islamic extremists in an attempt to destabilize the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110303com7.html

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