Earlier this month Iran’s media began to up the rhetoric against Azerbaijan, with a headline claiming that Baku has “denied the presence of the Zionist regime near the border with Iran,” a claim that appears to contrast with its insinuation that Israel’s close relationship with Azerbaijan is a threat to Tehran. Last week, Azerbaijan’s State Border Service (SBS) rejected claims by Iranian officials that Israeli forces are present in Azerbaijan near the Iranian border, saying that Azerbaijan “does not need the support of foreign forces.”
The Iranian Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian spoke on the phone with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov on the current developments in bilateral relations. Amirabdollahain emphasised the need of avoiding misunderstandings and working to build connections between the two countries. He also stated that Tehran anticipates resolving the problem of Iranian truck transit traffic in the near future.
Ahmed Ali Goudarzi, commander of Iran’s Border Guard, claimed last week that Israeli forces are present in “sensitive areas” in neighboring countries and conducting intelligence and espionage work, advising Muslim countries “not to allow this,” according to Iranian state broadcaster IRIB. ”Conquerors of Khaybar” exercise conducted by Iran near border with Azerbaijan (credit: MEHR NEWS AGENCY) ”Conquerors of Khaybar” exercise conducted by Iran near border with Azerbaijan. The commander additionally claimed that Israel incited neighboring countries to take action concerning their borders or impose large tolls on heavy vehicles, an apparent reference to fees imposed on Iranian truck drivers by Azerbaijan recently.
The Azeri SBS stated in response that there never have been, are not, and never will be forces of any third country on Azerbaijan’s border, according to the Azeri APA news source. The SBS added that it does not need the support of foreign forces.