Iran summons Azerbaijan’s envoy over ‘anti-Iranian propaganda’

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Iran summoned on Thursday Azerbaijan’s ambassador over what it described as “anti-Iranian propaganda” by Azerbaijani officials and media, state news agency IRNA reported.

An Iranian foreign ministry official informed the Azerbaijani ambassador of Iran’s “dissatisfaction with the unfriendly statements of senior Azerbaijani officials,” IRNA reported.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, referring to drills held by the Iranian military last month in Iran’s northwest along the border with Azerbaijan, said on Tuesday: “If necessary, we will show once again that we can achieve what we want. Everyone knows this and those conducting military exercises near our borders in support of Armenia should also know it. No one can scare us.”

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a conflict over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The region is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of Armenian forces since a war there ended in 1994. Azerbaijan reclaimed parts of Nagorno-Karabakh in a six-week war in 2020.

Iran shares borders with both Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Iran has good relations with Armenia but is wary of Azerbaijan’s relations with Israel, a major supplier of arms to Baku. Tehran is also wary over nationalists in Turkey and Azerbaijan fanning separatist tendencies among its sizeable ethnic Azeri population.

Azeris are the largest minority group in Iran, with millions living in a region in northwestern Iran that shares the same name as the independent state of Azerbaijan.

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