Antisemitic cartoon targeting Azeri leader circulates on Iranian social media

This cartoon is part of a larger campaign of Iranian anti-Azerbaijan content; the two predominantly Shiite countries have been at odds for decades.

 AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT Ilham Aliyev (right) is welcomed by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala at an EU summit in Prague in October 2022. (photo credit: Eva Korinkova/Reuters)
AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT Ilham Aliyev (right) is welcomed by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala at an EU summit in Prague in October 2022.
(photo credit: Eva Korinkova/Reuters)

An antisemitic cartoon depicting Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev with a huge nose and sidelocks, wearing a yarmulke is circulating on Iranian social media.

This cartoon is part of a larger campaign of Iranian anti-Azerbaijan content; the two predominantly Shiite countries have been at odds for decades, although they maintain embassies in each other's capital cities.

The campaign has also included propaganda anti-Israel videos circulated by Iran in Azerbaijani.

Azerbaijan has classically aligned its interests with the West - particularly the United States and Israel - providing Iranian propagandists with ample reason to give their work an antisemitic twist.

 The Israeli delegation in Azerbaijan, October 3, 2022.  (credit: NICOLE LASKVI/DEFENSE MINISTRY) The Israeli delegation in Azerbaijan, October 3, 2022. (credit: NICOLE LASKVI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Azerbaijan-Israel relations

Recently, Azerbaijan declared intent to become the first Shi’ite-majority state to open an embassy in Israel. And Israel has had an embassy in Baku since 1993. The two nations have close relationships in the realms of defense, diplomacy and trade.

Leaders of the Islamic Republic have repeatedly expressed their loathing for all things Western, particularly the state of Israel and its leaders. 

It also specifically fears the warming Azerbaijani-Israeli ties because Iran sees these ties as threatening to the Iranian regime.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.