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Iran vows to take countermeasures against Baku hostile moves

Iran says it will take diplomatic countermeasures in response to Azerbaijan's radical and unconstructive positions against Iranian teachers and diplomats residing in Baku.

In a statement on Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani said Tehran believes that such moves by the Azerbaijani government are in contradiction to the neighborly principles.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes the [importance of] observing the principles and basics of the neighborhood policy and paying heed to the sinister goals of the Zionist regime (Israel) in creating differences and tension in the relations among Muslim countries while at the same time, it has diplomatic countermeasure on its agenda,” Kan’ani added.

Azerbaijan said on Thursday it has declared four Iranian embassy employees persona non grata, claiming the diplomats conducted “provocative actions” in the latest deterioration of relations between the two neighbors.

The move came hours after Baku said it arrested six men, who it claimed were linked to Iranian secret services and were plotting a coup in the Caspian nation, Press TV reported.

Azerbaijan’s relations with Iran were strained in January following an attack on the Eurasian country’s embassy in Tehran.

Azerbaijan closed its diplomatic mission following the incident and evacuated staff over what it called a “terrorist act,” with President Ilham Aliyev blaming it on Iran.

This is while an initial investigation pointed to “personal and family-related problems” as the motive of the assailant.

Recent estimates show that Azerbaijan has become Israel’s largest supplier of oil while Tel Aviv is now responsible for almost 70 percent of Baku’s weapons.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Kan’ani urged Azerbaijan to act based on mutual respect and good neighborliness and avoid pursuing the demands of the Zionists and enemies in the region.

The Iranian spokesperson said the crisis and chaos have engulfed the entire occupied Palestinian territories and Israel is in its most unstable internal situation but at the same time, the regime attacked the fasting Muslims and desecrated the al-Aqsa Mosque to play a blame game in the face of multi-layered crises in the occupied territories.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers focusing on the Muslim world’s unity and at the same time confronting the normalization of relations with the criminal and occupying regime of Israel as a necessity and a religious and conscientious obligation,” he said.

Israeli warplanes hit targets inside Gaza following the firing of retaliatory rockets from the direction of the coastal strip over the regime’s attacks on Palestinian worshippers inside al-Aqsa.

The aircraft targeted the Hay al-Zeitoun area in southern Gaza City with three missiles. They also struck various other areas across the occupied enclave.

Amid a rise in its retaliatory action against the Israeli aggression on al-Aqsa and Gaza, the Palestinian resistance fighters on Friday launched a new batch of missiles towards Israeli settlements. Palestinian sources said the regime’s Iron Dome failed to intercept most of the retaliatory rockets.

Earlier on Friday, Kan’ani condemned the latest atrocities committed by the Israeli regime against civilians in southern Lebanon and the besieged Gaza Strip, urging the international community and responsible global bodies to take “effective and deterrent” action against Israel.

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