Iran replaces Tehran police chief after attack on Azerbaijan’s embassy
Iran appointed a new police chief for Tehran on Friday following an armed attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in the capital, though it was unclear if the appointment was influenced by the attack.
Abbas-Ali Mohammadian has been named as the new police commander of Tehran, replacing Hossein Rahimi, who will now head a police department tasked with countering “economic crimes,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
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The announcement came soon after a gunman attacked Azerbaijan’s embassy in Tehran, killing an Azerbaijani security official and wounding two others.
Iranian police and media did not say if there was any connection between the announcement and the attack.
Iranian authorities said the attacker, an Iranian man, was arrested and cited “personal and family problems” as the motivation for the attack.
Azerbaijan blamed Iran for the attack and said it was evacuating its embassy in Tehran.
“All responsibility for the attack lies with Iran,” Azerbaijani foreign ministry spokesman Ayxan Hacizada said, adding that the attack was “encouraged” by a recent anti-Azerbaijani campaign in Iranian media.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev described the attack as “an act of terrorism.”
Iran and Azerbaijan share a border of around 700 kilometers (430 miles).
The two countries have a complex relationship. Iran is wary of Azerbaijan’s relations with Israel, a major supplier of arms to Baku. Tehran is also wary over nationalists in Azerbaijan and its close ally Turkey 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.
Azerbaijan evacuates Tehran embassy, blames Iran for attack