Vol. 6, No. 11 (June 01, 2013)

Oil shale revolution shakes up Caspian pipeline calculations

Many of the longstanding assumptions about where pipelines should be built leading out of the Caspian basin have been undercut by the oil shale revolution, the rise of LNG distribution, and the rise of China relative to Europe and the United States, and these new realities are now exerting a powerful influence on the struggle for energy resources and their export in Azerbaijan and other Caspian littoral states, according to a leading Russian analyst. In a major article in Kommersant-Vlast, Aleksandr Gabuyev says that these underlying changes in the oil and gas world mean that “many pro...
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Azerbaijan and Iran’s bungling foreign policy

Among Iran’s immediate neighbors, Azerbaijan stands out in two distinct ways. First, the existence of a large ethnic Azerbaijani population inside Iran makes the Republic of Azerbaijan more than just another neighbor.  And second, at the moment, no other neighboring state challenges the ideological foundations of Islamic Republic as clearly as does the staunchly secular Republic of Azerbaijan. While this combination has over recent years transformed Baku-Tehran relations into a turbulent affair, many Iranian analysts and even some officials are now increasingly calling for Tehran ...
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Islam and Azerbaijan’s relationship with the North Caucasus

Islam plays a key role both in linking Azerbaijan and the North Caucasus together and because their religious experience has been different in setting them apart.  As a result, the relationship has been complicated and at no time more than over the past century and especially the past generation. In the beginning of the 20th century, Musavat, the Azerbaijani national-democratic party, called for the establishment of a secular nation-state, while Ittihad, the pan-Islamist party, urged the creation of an Islamic state, which would include all the Muslims of the Russian Empire.  O...
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