Gun attack on Azerbaijan embassy in Tehran kills security chief
Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An armed attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Iran left at least one dead and two wounded, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said on 27 January.
“The attacker fired with a Kalashnikov rifle at the guard post and killed the head of the security service. Two guards were also wounded while repelling the attack,” the Eurasian country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Terrible terrorist attack against #Azerbaijan’s Embassy in Tehran. Head of the Embassy security has been killed, two wounded. Embassy staff & their families to be evacuated from Iran soon. pic.twitter.com/ARW0STbHXm
— Nasimi Aghayev (@NasimiAghayev) January 27, 2023
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani strongly condemned the armed attack in a statement released on 27 January.
“The Iranian law enforcement and security forces took action quickly and apprehended the offender, who is being questioned,” the spokesman said, sending his condolences and most sincere sympathies to the victim’s family and the government and people of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Kanaani advised the media to refrain from making assumptions and publishing unsubstantiated reports about the case, given that Iranian law enforcement, security, and judicial organizations immediately began investigating the matter after the assailant was arrested by Tehran police shortly after the incident.
The preliminary investigation carried out by the authorities and organizations in charge suggests that “personal motives” were behind his attack.
The assailant told police that his wife went to the embassy in April last year and never returned. He visited several times to inquire about her whereabouts, but to no avail. Eventually, he decided to take up arms against the embassy.
The attack drew a strong response from Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry, which summoned Iran’s ambassador to Baku to demand justice and announced it would withdraw its diplomatic personnel from Tehran.
A statement by Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said “We are of the opinion that the recent anti-Azerbaijani campaign against our country in Iran led to such an attack against our diplomatic mission.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian later told his Azerbaijani counterpart, Jayran Bairamov, in a phone call that he hoped the attack would not damage bilateral ties.
“Necessary security measures have been taken to continue normal activities at the embassy and diplomats of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tehran,” the Iranian minister stated.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev demanded swift punishment for those involved in Friday’s “act of terrorism.”
Meanwhile, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi called for “a comprehensive investigation” into the incident and sent his condolences to Azerbaijan and the dead man’s family, Iranian state media said.