Iran, Azerbaijan to Sign Religious Cooperation Agreement

Head of Azeri State Religious Affairs Committee Rafiq Aliyev said in Baku on Monday that Tehran and Baku will sign an agreement for cooperation in religious affairs in the "very near future." Speaking at a conference titled 'Religion and Democracy,' without referring to the details and nature of the future cooperation between the Islamic neighboring countries in religious affairs, Aliyev added, "Azerbaijan Republic has already signed a similar agreement with Turkey." Aliyev said,

"Baku government has established strong ties with the Islamic countries, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey, since religion plays quite a significant role in Azerbaijan Republic's social and cultural affairs." The Azeri official referring to the ongoing anti-religion moves in the world and the attraction of religious teachings for the world nations today, reiterated, "Keeping in mind the prevailing global crises, the world is now on the brink of the quite unfortunate crash of civilizations." He added, "The Islamic countries can play a decisive role as one of the major axes of the global political developments, so that the quite probable clash of civilizations could be avoided."

Rafiq Aliyev meanwhile emphasized, "Democracy, currently regarded as the fruit of mankind's centuries long endeavors aimed at embracing justice and equality, will definitely face its doomed defeat minus the confirmation and assistance of the world's great monotheist religions." He believes in order to halt the process of religious extremism and terrorism in the world, mankind needs to pay due attention to the models presented to compromise between religions and governments, since otherwise the models of religions minus governing power and laic governments would both prove inefficient and incompetent in solving mankind's problems in the future.

The Iranian participant at the conference Hojjatoleslam Mahdi Hadavi Tehrani, too, said at the gathering, "Religion plays a decisive role in a government, and an Islamic regime is one in which the supreme leadership of the topmost jurisdiction source (Velayat-e-Faqih) plays the pivotal role." He further elaborated, "All foundations in the Islamic system, as well as the whole Islamic nation function and live under that main axis, and move towards advancement and prosperity." Head of the Council for Surveys on Jurisprudence and Human Sciences Texts at Iran's Ministry of Science, Research and Technology added, "The experience of Iran's glorious Islamic Revolution, and the following establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran has provided the best proof that Islam is the most perfect religion, and that the Shi'a faith is quite competent in establishing an ideal political system and ruling successfully and prestigiously."

Hadavi Tehrani added, "A righteous Islamic political system, like the Islamic Republic of Iran, mobilizes the Islamic Ummah (nation) and blocks the path of the world's oppressive powers." Elsewhere in his remarks the Iranian official said, "Today, in the name of promoting democracy, a Satanic triangle, comprised of the United States, Britain, and Israel, is busy massacring Muslims in various parts of the world, accusing all their opponents of terrorism." The day-long Religion and Democracy Conference, initiated by Azerbaijan Republic's State Religious Affairs Committee, features articles presented by prominent religious scholars from Iran, Turkey and Central Asian republics on campaign against terrorism and the advantage international terrorists are taking of religious attributes.