Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Iran fatal embassy shooting sparks Azerbaijan’s protests

Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry responded strongly to the attack, summoning Iran’s ambassador in Baku to demand justice and saying it would evacuate its embassy staff from Tehran. It said an “anti-Azerbaijani campaign” in Iran had contributed to the attack and accused Tehran of long ignoring its appeals to boost embassy security. “Unfortunately, the latest bloody terrorist act demonstrates the serious consequences of the failure to give the necessary attention to our constant appeals in this regard,” it said. “The attacker broke through the guard post, killing the head of security with a Kalashnikov assault rifle,” Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, quoted on a government site, said that based on evidence and initial observations the gunman’s motive was “completely personal”. “Necessary security measures have been taken to continue normal activities at the embassy and diplomats of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tehran,” he said. Amirabdollahian later told Azeri Foreign Minister Jayran Bairamov in a phone call that he hoped the attack would not damage bilateral ties. A gunman shot dead a security guard and wounded two other people at Azerbaijan’s embassy in Iran on Friday, in an attack Baku branded an “act of terrorism” that it said was the result of Tehran failing to heed its calls for improved security. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev demanded swift punishment for those involved in Friday’s “act of terrorism”. (https://neuters.de/world/asia-pacific/guard-killed-shooting-azerbaijans-embassy-iran-2023-01-27/) Azerbaijan, a secular Muslim former Soviet republic, has friendly ties with the United States and Israel and has had difficult diplomatic relations with Iran.

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