TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry roundly dismissed any connection between Iran and the Azeri nationals recently arrested on a charge of links with Iranian organizations.
“Sadly, the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been arresting and keeping its citizens in custody for some time on a charge and bogus allegation of links with Iranian institutions,” Nasser Kanaani said on Thursday, refuting the “chain accusations” that the Azerbaijan Republic has leveled against Iran recently.
The spokesperson dismissed any official or unofficial connection between the arrestees and the Islamic Republic of Iran, stressing, “The popular relationships between the citizens of the two countries are heartfelt, emotional, historical, religious and even family-based. The government of the Republic of Azerbaijan should not attribute such deep-rooted and historical bonds of its nationals to security issues or associate them with neighbors.”
Kanaani noted that every government has the inherent right to take action against the law-breaking citizens, but made it clear that Baku’s move to arrest and imprison many citizens by making the allegation of connection with Iran is inadmissible and unacceptable.
The Azerbaijan Republic’s interior ministry, security service and the office of prosecutor general said in a joint statement on Tuesday that at least nine Azeri nationals have been arrested, suspected of being “linked to Iranian secret services and of plotting a coup and assassinations”.
The statement gave nine names and said several other people had been arrested.