Monday, April 1st, 2013

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania, Abbas Araqchi

TEHRAN-The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned Azerbaijan's
ambassador to Tehran to protest an anti-Iran conference held in Baku,
official IRNA news agency reported.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania, Abbas Araqchi,
conveyed Iran's protest against the Azeri government for what he called
the failure of Iran's northern neighbor to take suitable measures to
prevent convening the anti-Iran meetings in Baku, according to Iran's
Foreign Ministry Media Diplomacy Department.

Speakers at the conference, held last week at a hotel in central Baku,
said Iran is in the throes of a deep economic and political crisis
because of western sanctions against the Persian Gulf state's nuclear
program. Ethnic Azeris were urged to seize the opportunity to build a
state in the northwest provinces bordering the Republic of Azerbaijan,
reported the Associated Press.

The conference was organized by the so-called South Azerbaijan National
Liberation Front, bringing together groups and organizations seeking
greater rights and independence for a community that makes up about
a quarter of Iran's 75 million population. The event also featured
academics, Azeri parliament members and former officials, including
Nasib Nasibli, the country's ex-ambassador to Iran. No current Azeri
government officials took part, the AP added.

"While Iran has made all efforts to help consolidate bilateral ties,
such moves can deal a serious blow to the development of relations,"
Araqchi was quoted as saying.

During the meeting with Azeri ambassador Javanshir Akhundov, Araqchi
slammed the distribution of "fabricated" articles and offensive
caricatures against Iran in the conference, the semi- official Fars
news agency reported.

"The move only serves the interests of Israeli circles and violates
the agreement on friendly relations between the two countries and is
totally unacceptable," Araqchi said.

For his part, Akhundov said Tehran's message would be conveyed to
Baku as soon as possible and a response will be relayed back to
the ministry.

On Sunday, the Iranian embassy in Azerbaijan strongly condemned
the anti-Iran conference, saying that "Despite Tehran's policy
of bolstering friendly ties with Baku, respecting Azerbaijan's
sovereignty, and not interfering in the domestic affairs of the
country, certain anti-Iran elements have regrettably carried
out aggressive and offensive actions in Azerbaijan and have made
unfounded territorial allegations against the Islamic Republic of
Iran," Fars reported.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress