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Iran: Azerbaijan’s embassy in Tehran to reopen ‘soon’ following diplomatic row

Police stand guard in front of Azerbaijan's embassy in Tehran. (File photo)

Iran’s ambassador to Baku says an Azerbaijani delegation has traveled to Tehran to make preparations for the reopening of their embassy in the Islamic Republic following diplomatic tensions over the past year.

In an interview with Baku TV on Thursday, Abbas Mousavi praised the “historical background” between the two neighboring countries and stressed that they would not allow “misunderstandings” to persist and sour their ties.

“The historical background of the two countries and the deep cultural and emotional relations between the people on both sides of the border of about 800 kilometers between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan do not allow problems and misunderstandings to continue,” Mousavi said.

“Both countries tried to overcome the icy period [in bilateral ties] with wisdom, tact and resourcefulness and turn over a new leaf in bilateral relations,” he added.

Underlining the “evident” role of some countries and regimes in the region and beyond, especially their security services, in sowing discord between Iran and Azerbaijan, the ambassador said the current Iranian administration’s neighborly policy is a "serious and principled" one. 

"In its foreign policy, the Islamic Republic of Iran moves forward based on stable principles and foundations that cannot be violated or changed," he said.

Mousavi said the activities of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Tehran will “soon” resume, adding that a delegation has traveled to Tehran to make the preparations.

Azerbaijan’s relations with Iran were strained in January last year following an attack on the country’s embassy in Tehran, which prompted Baku to close it and evacuate staff over what it called a “terrorist act.”

An initial Iranian investigation found out that the attack was motivated by “personal and family-related problems”. 

“The incident on January 27, 2023, and the attack on the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tehran was very poignant, unpredictable and surprising,” Mousavi said in the interview.

“But all the evidence and the subsequent visits of the judicial and security officials of the two countries and the confession of the assailant showed that the action was individual and with personal motives,” he added. “The suspect was arrested, tried, and sentenced to severe punishment.”

Mousavi also pointed to a transport corridor that links the Caucasian state to its exclave of Nakhchivan and bypasses Armenia through the Iranian territory.

“Iran has connected Nakhchivan to the main land of the Republic of Azerbaijan for more than 30 years, and now we intend to develop and diversify this route,” he said. “The air route connecting to Nakhchivan also passes through Iran.”

Mousavi underlined that Tehran and Baku are drawing up “large economic projects” to bring about “greater economic entanglement” of the two neighbors.

Earlier in the day, Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov arrived in Iran at the head of a delegation to hold talks with the country’s officials.

At the invitation of his Iranian counterpart, the visit is aimed at discussing and exchanging views regarding the development of cooperation between the two countries in the field of energy.

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