Iran summons Azeri envoy over IRGC plot accusations

Tehran denies connection to a plot broken up by Azerbaijan authorities last week, which it said targeted Israelis in the country.

March 17, 2012 23:25
A man looks at a newspaper in Tehran

A man looks at a newspaper in Tehran R 390. (photo credit: Raheb Homavandi/Reuters)

Iran has summoned the ambassador of Azerbaijan after his country accused Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) of being behind a plot to attack Israeli targets in the country, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported.

Azeri authorities arrested 22 of its own nationals in the plot, which it said emanated from Iran.

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Iran rejected these accusations and accused Israel of attempting to charge similar accusations against it in a number of countries, likely referring to attacks in India and Thailand that were linked to Iran.

The announcement of the arrests came a day after Azerbaijan's Defense Minister Safar Abiyev visited Iran to alleviate Tehran’s concerns over reports that Baku recently signed a $1.6 billion arms deal with Israel.

Wednesday’s announcement was the second round of arrests made in connection with an Iranian plot to attack Israel in Azerbaijan. On February 21, Baku announced it had arrested a number of people with links to Iran and Hezbollah, who were planning to attack foreigners, though reports did not identify Israeli or US targets.

According to reports, one of those arrested was a member of Iran’s Quds Force, the Revolutionary Guard Corps division responsible for overseas operations.

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