Tehran, Baku 'still friends,' says Iranian official

A senior Iranian official said Tuesday that the Zionists are trying to damage ties between Iran and Azerbaijan.
Speaking in an interview with Iran's official news agency IRNA, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Asian and Oceanic Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said Western countries were hostile to Iran's "scientific progress in the nuclear field" because Iranian progress was exceeding their expectations.
He also downplayed the impacts of the western sanctions against the Tehran, stating "They are completely wrong if they think that they can force us to retreat."
Araqchi further commented that Israel is seeking to gain a foothold in Azerbaijan in order to launch anti-Iran activities, but that neither the Azeri nation nor the government will allow it to do so.
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