Iran and the Caucasus
Alex Vatanka opened the discussion by speaking about relations between Azerbaijan and Iran. When Azerbaijan became independent in 1991, Iran hoped to develop a natural alliance between the two states, as Azerbaijan had formerly been part of the Persian Empire. This did not happen, however. Instead, Iran faced a government that prioritized the establishment of a “greater Azerbaijan” i.e., the unification of the northern part of Azerbaijan with its southern part located in Iran.