Azerbaijan blasts Iran for ‘opposing international obligations’ days after embassy attack
Baku's latest accusation against Tehran came on the same day when the Azeri and Israeli defense ministers held talks over expanding military cooperation
By News Desk - February 01 2023

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

The Azerbaijani foreign ministry on 1 February condemned Iran for allegedly preventing last week’s attack on the Azeri embassy in Tehran “from being widely exposed at the international level.”

“Iran objected to the draft communiqués and statements submitted by Azerbaijan to the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and to the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) immediately after the attack,” the statement released on Wednesday reads.

Baku also called on Tehran to fulfill its commitments under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

“We condemn this provocative step of Iran and state that it must comply with its international obligations,” the statement says, adding: “Azerbaijan will use all relevant international platforms to widely condemn the terror act against its embassy and punish the perpetrators of said act.”

The statement was released on the same day the Azeri Defense Minister, Zakir Hasanov, held a phone conversation with his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Galant, during which the two sides expressed that their nations’ ties are “based on friendship and mutual trust.”

Hasanov also congratulated Galant on his recent appointment by Tel Aviv’s new far-right government and expressed confidence that military cooperation between the two allied nations will expand.

On 27 January, a lone gunman stormed the Azeri embassy in Tehran, killing the head of security and wounding two others.

“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,” Baku said in a statement last Friday.

The assailant told Iranian police that his wife went to the embassy in April last year and never returned. He visited the building several times to inquire about her whereabouts to no avail. Eventually, he decided to take up arms against the embassy.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov, on 30 January, announced that the Azerbaijan embassy would suspend its work after withdrawing all diplomatic personnel.

“We have completely suspended the embassy’s diplomatic activities,” Khalafov said, adding that five embassy employees are staying in Tehran to protect the building and the embassy’s property. “But they will not be engaged in diplomatic activities,” he explained.

In response to the simmering tensions, Iranian parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said that Tehran is “deeply sorry” for the attack, adding that the country is investigating the incident “accurately and comprehensively.”

He went on to say that no proof has so far been found to consider the shooting a terrorist attack, stressing that “emotional decisions regarding Iran-Baku ties are what the common enemies of the two countries and the ill-wishers of the Islamic world, especially the Zionist regime, are wishing for.”

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