Iran FM says Azerbaijan embassy attack fueled on personal grounds

January 28, 2023 - 23:47
Abdollahian stresses the attack was not an act of terrorism

TEHRAN- Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Iranian Foreign Minister, has denounced the armed attack on Azerbaijan's embassy in Tehran on Friday morning, suggesting foes should not be permitted to exploit the situation

Abdollahian also stressed that it was not an act of terrorism.

In a phone call with Jeyhun Bayramov, the foreign minister of Azerbaijan, on Friday, Amir Abdollahian underlined, “We should not allow this incident to have any detrimental influence on relations between the two nations.”

The top Iranian diplomat offered condolences to Bayramov following the incident, which led to the murder of the head of the embassy's security service and injury of two diplomatic guards.

He said that the security agencies of the two countries might jointly investigate the incident to shed light on its varied aspects.

For his part, Bayramov commended the Iranian president and foreign minister for expressing their condolences over the incident and praised Amir Abdollahian’s proposal that the security agencies of Iran and the Azerbaijan Republic as well as their judicial officials cooperate to investigate the matter.

Amir Abdollahian visits the injured in hospital

Late on Friday, Amir Abdollahian paid a visit to the injured in a Tehran hospital.

After his visit, he and the Azeri ambassador participated in a news conference where he stated that Iran's security and intelligence agencies do not believe the incident was a “terrorist and organized operation,” rather it was carried out of personal motive.

“The president gave a clear order to investigate the situation legally and judicially and to perform legal and judicial follow-ups on every single person who may have been culpable in this case,” Abdollahian added.

He expressed delight that the perpetrator had been detained by police shortly after committing the crime, and that questioning him had lasted until Friday at midday.

Based on the reports issued by various Iranian entities including security organizations, Amir Abdollahian said, “Today I spoke with my counterpart Mr. Jeyhun Bayramov in details and we agreed that Mr. ambassador” continue his mission in Tehran. 

Abdollahian also said he held talks with the interior intelligence ministers and the police chief about the incident to pursue the issue.

A comprehensive probe of the assault on the Azerbaijani embassy was also mandated by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

According to a tweet by president’s senior adviser Mohammad Jamshidi on Friday, President Raisi “directed a complete inquiry” into the matter, “expressed condolences to the government, people, and family of the deceased envoy, and prayed for the healing of the injured.”

'Attack on embassy was bitter but failed to sever ties’

Ruhollah Hazratpour, a member of the Iran-Azerbaijan parliamentary friendship group, said on Friday that the deadly attack on the embassy was motivated by personal goals and won't have a negative impact on the two countries’ relations.

He emphasized that “the killing of an Azerbaijani citizen in that bitter event was quite depressing for the Iranian nation, and the Islamic Republic of Iran will seriously deal with the person who committed this criminal act.”

ICRO condemns the attack, warns of nefarious intentions

The Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) of Iran issued a statement on Saturday condemning the attack on the embassy. It also cautioned that the event can be used as a pretext by adversaries to sour bilateral relations.

The ICRO expressed regret and grief over the murder of a staff member at the embassy of the “neighboring Muslim country” and expressed sympathies to the government of Azerbaijan over the incident.

Details of incident 

After the attack, the gunman who stormed the Azerbaijani embassy and began firing with a handgun was detained, according to Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi, the head of Tehran's police department.

The assailant, who is an Iranian national married to an Azerbaijani woman, “said that his motive was personal and family issues,” General Rahimi added.

The gunman said that his main goal was to “save his wife” in an interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

He reportedly assumed that her wife was at the embassy and added, “She must be allowed to leave the embassy of her own free will, and if she doesn't want to live with me, I'll assist her get her passport, and she'll be free to go.”

When asked if it was his main reason, he replied, “Yes, I did it to save her.”

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