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Iran calls for Azerbaijan's explanation on 'strategic partnership' with Israel

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kan'ani addresses a regular weekly press conference in Tehran on March 13, 2023. (File photo by Tasnim News Agency)

Tehran has roundly condemned remarks by Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen regarding an agreement with Azerbaijan to establish a united front against Iran.

The Israeli minister made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Azeri counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov on Wednesday prior to the inauguration of Azerbaijan's embassy in Tel Aviv.

The move is "another proof of hostile objectives of the Zionist regime to turn the soil of the Republic of Azerbaijan to a source of threat against the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran," Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kana'ani said on Friday.

Referring to Bayramov's statements on the same day about a "strategic partnership" with Israel, Kana'ani said the remarks implicitly confirm the anti-Iranian stance of the two parties' cooperation and called on Azeri officials to provide an explanations about the issue.

Pointing to the "unbreakable" historic and religious bonds between the people of Iran and Azerbaijan, the spokesman said Tehran has always tried to foil the plots of ill-wishers that want to create division between the two neighboring countries.

"It is expected from Azerbaijan's government to stay away from the trap set by enemies of the two countries' relations," he said, adding, "It is evident that the Islamic Republic of Iran cannot remain indifferent to the Zionist regime's plot from the soil of the Republic of Azerbaijan."

Azerbaijan’s relations with Iran were strained in January following an attack on the Eurasian country’s embassy in Tehran.

Azerbaijan closed its diplomatic mission following the incident and evacuated staff over what it called a “terrorist act,” with President Ilham Aliyev blaming it on the “Iranian establishment.”

This is while an initial investigation pointed to “personal and family-related problems” as the motive of the assailant.

Recent estimates show that Azerbaijan has become Israel’s largest supplier of oil while Tel Aviv is now responsible for almost 70 percent of Baku’s weapons.

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