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Tue May 29, 2012 10:1AM
A view of an entrance to Iran's Foreign Ministry (file photo)

A view of an entrance to Iran's Foreign Ministry (file photo)

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has hit out at Israel for seeking to create tension between Iran and Azerbaijan, calling on the Azeri government to exercise vigilance against Tel Aviv’s 'seditious acts.' The Zionists (Israelis) and those who are against the interests of the Muslim world never want regional countries to enjoy friendly relations, and thus hatch plots to strain such ties, said Mehmanparast at his weekly press conference on Tuesday. The senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official warned Baku against the enemy’s conspiracies to mar the bilateral ties between Tehran and Baku. Mehmanparast advised Azeri authorities to act in such a manner as to provide for both Iranians and Azerbaijanis to benefit from their cultural and historical commonalities. Earlier this month, Iran recalled its ambassador to Azerbaijan over insults against Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei during a planned gathering in front of the Iranian embassy in Baku. On May 16, about 100 members of pro-Israeli groups, including the Southern Azerbaijan Independence Party, the International Diaspora Center, and the World Congress of Azerbaijanis gathered in front of the Iranian embassy in the Azeri capital, shouting slogans against the Islamic Republic and insulting the Leader of the Islamic Revolution. Relations between the two neighbors have been strained after Azerbaijan signed a USD 1.5-billion deal with Israel to purchase drones and anti-aircraft and missile systems. Last month, Tehran summoned Azeri Ambassador Javanshir Akhundov to protest Baku’s arms agreement with the Israeli regime. YH/GHN/HJL
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