Iran says remarks by Azeri president are surprising

September 28, 2021 - 21:3

TEHRAN — In reply to a question raised by correspondents about Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s comments regarding Iran, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Tuesday said Aliyev’s remarks are “surprising” because they come at a time when Tehran and Baku have good relations based on mutual respect and there are normal channels through which the two sides can talk at the highest level.

Khatibzadeh added that the Iranian and Azeri foreign ministers also engaged in serious and meticulous discussions over issues of mutual concerns on the sidelines of the recent UN General Assembly in New York.

According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, the chief diplomats agreed to continue the talks.

Khatibzadeh reiterated that Iran has always opposed any occupation of territory and stressed the need for respecting the territorial integrity of countries and internationally recognized borders. He said good neighborliness is a key matter and all neighbors are expected to observe it.

He added that the recent Iran’s military drills along the northwestern border was a sovereign matter and was aimed at protecting regional security. He, however, said that Iran will not tolerate the Israeli regime’s presence near its borders even if it is ceremonial and the Islamic Republic will do anything that it takes to protect its national security.

"Iranians, Azeris have most affinities” 

Speaking in an interview with Tasnim on Tuesday, Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini, spokesman for the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament, said the Iranian and Azeri people have the most religious, cultural, and ethnic affinities. 
Meshkini also said that Iran believes that no behavior should result in tensions between the two neighbors, warning any tension “will only benefit foreigners, especially the Zionist regime.”

In recent weeks, the Azeri police and customs officials have begun imposing a “road tax” on Iranian trucks shipping fuel and other goods to neighboring Armenia, causing a strained atmosphere in the relations between Tehran and Baku.

Aliyev has claimed that Iran had ignored Azerbaijan’s calls for many years to stop transporting goods to Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave that’s internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory. He said no Iranian truck has entered Nagorno-Karabakh since Azerbaijan started imposing taxes.

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