This panel was compiled by the Conference Program Team from independently submitted paper proposals
The presence of Iran in the Caucasus and Azerbaijan was realized not only in the political, economic and military spheres, as well as in the social sphere, i.e. by its population-citizens. The history of presence in this quality has begun since the beginning of the nineteenth century, from the Russian-Iranian wars. People, mainly Azerbaijani Turks which at first, in 1801 was the subject of the kingdom of Georgia, then under the Gulistan (1813) and Turkmenchay (1828) treaties subjected formally (de jure) to Iran, but actually (de facto) were independent feudal states, that in the past freely moved in these areas, with the amalgamation of Azerbaijani khanates to the Russian Empire divided as a single nation and became the subjects –citizens of Russia and Iran. Thus, “the Iranian” problem in the Caucasus–arrival of the Iranian citizens to Northern Azerbaijan which had already become the administrative area of Tsarist Russia and their long-term or permanent living there has the 200-year history. In different stages of this history arrival of Iranians getting mass character had a variety of economic, political and social reasons. This is a very broad topic; therefore, in this lecture my goal is to consider the emergence, place and nature of the Iranian community on the bases of historical stages. The arrival of the Iranians to Azerbaijan, exactly to say, to Russian Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan People's Republic, Soviet Azerbaijan and the present day Republic of Azerbaijan can be divided into 5 stages.
The first stage covers from the mid-nineteenth century, a 70 years period (until 1917) and according to the nature it can be characterized as “laborer migration” of the Iranians.
The second stage covering from 1917 until April 1920, mainly the period of Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan characterizes an eventful period in the history of the Iranian community in the Caucasus, as an intense period for the split in the community on the basis of class composition.
The third stage covers the period of 1921-1940 years, and is considered to be the most difficult period for recent results in the history of the Iranian community in Azerbaijan – to be completely destroyed and the abolishment of the community.
The fourth stage covers the period of 1946-1990 years, and is characterized with the leaders and participants of the national liberation movement in Iran, with emergence and activities of new political “community” of the new Iranians as a result of immigration of the national and left-wing party members to Azerbaijan.
The fifth stage covers from the 1990s up to present and is characterized by emergence of the community involving the Iranian citizens working within the framework of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Iran, in construction and industrial business, trade, cultural and educational activities and those studying in Azerbaijan.
Since its inception, more than 100 years of existence in this or any other form, the “Iranian” community in Azerbaijan in the best case had the function of a “civil society” abroad and has not been able to influence on the state's political, social and cultural life in any way.