Azerbaijan urges citizens against travel to Iran after deadly embassy attack
Azerbaijan on Tuesday urged its citizens against unnecessary travel to Iran, days after an armed attack on Baku’s embassy in Tehran that left a security guard dead and wounded two others.
“Due to the unstable situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the terrorist attack against the diplomatic mission of our country, the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan are advised not to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran unless necessary,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its website.
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“Those who visit are advised to exercise increased caution,” the ministry added.
On Friday, a gunman attacked Azerbaijan’s embassy in Tehran, killing an Azerbaijani security official and wounding two others.
Iranian authorities said the attacker, an Iranian man, was arrested and cited “personal and family problems” as the motivation for the attack.
But Azerbaijan blamed Iran for the attack which it labelled as an act of terrorism. Baku evacuated embassy staff and their family members from Iran on Sunday.
Azerbaijani foreign ministry spokesman Ayxan Hacizada said the attack was “encouraged” by a recent anti-Azerbaijani campaign in Iranian media.
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.