Azerbaijan: Islamist Trial Sets Stage For Confrontation With Tehran (RFE/RL)

Sixteen men are on trial in Baku for allegedly receiving support from Iran with the aim of imposing Islamic rule in largely secular Azerbaijan. Mindful of national-security concerns — and the impact the case may have on Baku’s relationship with one of its most important neighbors — the presiding judge at the Azerbaijani Court for Serious Crimes requested a closed-door hearing.

The trial, which began October 8, has attracted significant attention at home and abroad, as it puts Azerbaijan in the uncomfortable position of accusing Iran of meddling in its domestic affairs. The young cleric accused of leading the group now on trial says the charges themselves are a "political game" at a time when unsanctioned Islamic faith is on the rise in what has typically been a secular state…

Elcin Qambarov, the lawyer representing Dadasbeyli, told RFE/RL that the charges are groundless, and that his client had not worked with Iran or sought to undermine Western influence in Azerbaijan…

Azerbaijan: Islamist Trial Sets Stage For Confrontation With Tehran (RFE/RL)

Azerbaijan: U.S. Experts Visit Qabala Radar (RFE/RL)


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