MP says Azeri president's remarks are against good neighborliness

October 16, 2021 - 19:14

TEHRAN — Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini, the spokesman for the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament, has reacted to the recent remarks by Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

On Friday, Aliyev accused Iran and Armenia of were using Azerbaijan’s territory for drug trafficking, prompting swift rebuttals from both neighbors.

“After restoring its 130-kilometer border with Iran, which was under Armenian control for 30 years, Azerbaijan stopped the illegal trafficking of narcotics from Iran to Armenia and on to Europe through Azerbaijan’s Jebrail district,” Aliyev claimed during a virtual summit of former Soviet republics.

“Armenia and Iran conspired to use Azerbaijan’s occupied territories to traffic drugs to Europe,” he charged without producing any proof of his allegations.

In an interview with Tasnim published on Saturday, Meshkini reacted to Aliyev’s claims, saying: "The efforts of the Islamic Republic of Iran against drug trafficking are unique in the world. Otherwise, the entire Europe and the Caucasus would suffer the consequences of drugs.”

Stating that Iran has lost thousands of security forces in the fight against drug traffickers, the MP underscored that some remarks by Aliyev are against the good neighborliness. 

He suggested that there should be no gap between the two Muslim nations.

Abbaszadeh Meshkini, the representative of Meshkinshahr in the parliament, said unfortunately the ill-wishers of the two Muslim nations were looking to create a rift between the two Islamic countries and their neighbors.

"Iran is at the forefront of the fight against drug trafficking,” he said, adding even severe criminal laws are being enforced in Iran in the campaign against drug trafficking. 

Stating that abuse and trafficking of narcotics is forbidden based on the religious fatwas of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, the MP said it seems that Aliyev has been given false information in this regard.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian denied the allegations raised by the Azeri president when he addressed the summit from Yerevan.

“I want to point out that we have been very closely cooperating with Iran’s law-enforcement bodies and very productively fighting against drug trafficking,” said Pashinian.

Iran rejected Aliyev’s “astonishing” claims in stronger terms. The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said that they serve Israel’s geopolitical interests and will further damage Azerbaijan-Iran relations.

In written comments released by the ministry, Khatibzadeh said that Baku is sticking to “baseless statements” despite privately sending “positive messages” to Tehran. 

The Islamic Republic will respond to that accordingly, he said.