Raisi orders full probe into ‘bitter’ attack

Gunman storms Azerbaijan embassy in Tehran, killing one

January 27, 2023 - 11:34

TEHRAN – A gunman armed with AK-47 assault rifle stormed the embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tehran on Friday morning, killing an Azeri national and injuring two others.

Reportedly, the attack took place around 8:30 a.m. local time.

Tehran police chief Hossein Rahimi said initial investigations show the attacker had personal motives for his brutal attack.

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

Azerbaijani media said the man killed in the attack was Orkhan Asgarov, who was the head of the security service of the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi ordered a thorough investigation into the attack.

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

He said Raisi “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.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry strongly condemns the attack 

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani also strongly condemned the attack and expressed condolences to the family of the victim as well as the Azeri government and people.

Kanaani said immediately after the incident Iranian police and security forces detained the attacker and he is now under investigation.

“Upon the special order of political and security officials the issue is under study with high priority and sensitivity to clarify the aspects of this move and find out about the motivation of the attacker,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman explained.

He added initial investigations show there is personal motivation behind the attack.

Noting that related security and judicial bodies have launched a serious probe into the matter, Kanaani advised media to avoid wild guesses or publishing unconfirmed reports.

Iranian foreign, interior ministers assess the motives of assailant

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi also held talks to assess the motives of the gunman.

Abdollahian also talked on phone with Azeri Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov on the incident and sympathized with him and the bereaved family.

In his talks with Bayramov, Abdollahian also conveyed President Raisi’s grief to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev over the incident.

Condemning the attack, Abdollahian said the enemies are seeking to misuse the attack, suggesting “we should not allow this incident to leave negative impact on the relations between the two countries.”

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry described the attack as "treacherous".

"An individual with a Kalashnikov rifle attacked the security post and killed the head of security. Two embassy guards were also wounded in preventing the attack. Their condition is satisfactory. This treacherous attack is currently under investigation. The public will be provided with additional information on the details," the ministry said, according to Azerbaijani media.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said it had 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.”

President Aliyev called the assault 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, Press TV reported.

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