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Raeisi orders full probe into ‘bitter’ Azerbaijan embassy attack

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has ordered a thorough investigation into an attack on Azerbaijan’s embassy in Tehran, where the head of the security service of the embassy was killed and two guards were injured.

“We condemn the attack at the entrance of the embassy of our brotherly neighbor, the Republic of Azerbaijan,” Mohammad Jamshidi, a political aide to the Iranian president, said in a post on his Twitter account on Friday.

He said President Raeisi “ordered a full investigation” into the issue and “expressed condolences to the govt, people & family of the murdered diplomat & prayed for the recovery of the injured.”

Tehran police chief Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi said on Friday the gunman, who entered the Azerbaijani embassy this morning and started shooting with a firearm, was arrested.

“In the initial investigation, the attacker stated that his motivation was personal and family problems,” Gen. Rahimi said, adding the man is an Iranian national married to an Azerbaijani woman.

Following the shooting, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi discussed the deadly incident over the phone.

Judicial and security measures are underway to clarify the exact causes of the incident.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said it has summoned Iran’s Ambassador to Baku Abbas Mousavi in connection with what it called a terrorist attack against the embassy. During the meeting, the ministry said it was brought to the attention of the Iranian ambassador that the armed attack is strongly condemned.

It added that such attacks against diplomatic missions are unacceptable, and it is the duty of the receiving party to protect the building of the embassy from all kinds of attacks and ensure the safety of its employees, based on the “Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev called the assault on the embassy a “terrorist act” and demanded a swift investigation.

In a statement, Aliyev said, “We demand that this terrorist act be investigated and the terrorist be punished.” He said an attack against a diplomatic mission was “unacceptable.”

Azerbaijan also evacuated staff from its embassy in Tehran, blaming Iran for the attack.

“All responsibility for the attack lies with Iran,” Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Ayxan Hacizada told local media. He said a recent anti-Azerbaijani campaign in Iranian media had “encouraged the attack.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani strongly condemned the attack, expressing condolences to the victim’s family and to the Azerbaijani government and people. “Upon the order of political and security officials, the issue is being pursued with top priority and sensitivity so that aspects of the incident and the motivation of the attacker become clear.”

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