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February 24, 2016 4:43 pm

Iran’s Supreme Leader Urges Democratic Azerbaijan to Adopt Political Shiism

avatar by David Daoud

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Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani meet with Azeri president Ilham Aliyev. Photo: Khamenei's Twitter feed.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani meet with Azeri president Ilham Aliyev. Photo: Khamenei’s Twitter feed.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei urged Azerbaijan to adopt political Shiism, Tehran’s semi-official state news agency Mehr reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, Khamenei told visiting Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, who led a high-ranking delegation to Tehran to meet with Iranian officials, that a Shiite political system would provide Baku with ”divine protection” against foreign threats and “divisive Takfiri [Sunni Muslims who accuse others of apostasy] plots.” Khamenei added that governmental promotion of “Islamic and Shia beliefs,” would bolster the Azeri people’s resistance to the hostility of certain superpowers.

Azerbaijan is a Muslim-majority, democratic, secular republic, whose constitution does not declare a particular religion, though a majority of the population is Shiite. It maintains strong diplomatic ties with Israel, a country that Khamenei calls the “Zionist entity” or the “small Satan.”

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