Iranian pro-regime Fars News said that Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had responded to Azerbaijan after reports emerged on Saturday that Azerbaijan had advised citizens against traveling to Iran. Nasser Kanani, of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, was quoted as slamming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan for the decision, claiming that the policy was linked to the visit of Israel’s President to Baku recently. He called Israel’s president, the head of “the fake, child-killing and occupying Zionist regime.” Tehran appears to be increasing its rhetoric against Baku in recent months.
According to Turkey’s Anadolu media, “Azerbaijan on Saturday advised its citizens against traveling to Iran after it sent a note of protest to Tehran over a missing Azerbaijani student.”
That report noted that “citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan are strongly recommended not to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran without necessity, and those entering this country should remain as vigilant as possible," the [Azerbaijan] Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.
Furthermore, the Turkish report said that on Friday, “Azerbaijan sent a note of protest to the Iranian side in connection with the arrest of Azerbaijani citizen Farid Safarli, whom the Iranian authorities accuse of espionage.”
Iran claims to welcome Azerbaijan citizens with open arms
Iran is apparently outraged. The Iranian Foreign Ministry said that “the one who should scare the people of Azerbaijan is the Zionist regime, not a civilized and Islamic Iran.” Iran claims it still greets Azerbaijan citizens with open arms as “brothers and sisters.” Iran says it wants to continue to engage with Baku.
Israel President Isaac Herzog and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held discussions of the Iranian threat in Baku in late May, we reported. At the time we noted that security was increased for that visit. Israel’s Foreign Minister also visited Baku in April. There have been two rounds of arrests for those linked to Iran’s activities in the last six months in Azerbaijan.