The Embassy of Azerbaijan in Iran Suspends its Work
Azerbaijan is suspending work in its embassy in Iran, days after a gunman stormed the embassy and killed a security guard, AFP reported.
Iran said Friday's attack was motivated by personal reasons, but Baku described it as an act of terrorism.
"The work of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Iran has been temporarily suspended after the evacuation of its employees and their family members from Iran," the spokesman of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Ayxan Hajizada told AFP.
"This does not mean that diplomatic ties have been severed," he said, adding that Baku's consulate general in the Iranian city of Tabriz was "working."
In a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on Saturday, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev expressed hope that "this violent terrorist act will be thoroughly investigated."
Police in Tehran said the attacker, who was arrested, was an Iranian man married to an Azerbaijani woman.
The United States condemned the "unacceptable violence" and called for a swift investigation. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow was "shocked" by the attack.
Iran is home to millions of Turkic-speaking ethnic Azeris and has long accused Azerbaijan of stoking separatist sentiment on its soil.
Relations between the two countries have traditionally soured, with the former Soviet republic a close ally of Iran's historic rival, Turkey.
Tehran also fears that Azerbaijani territory could be used for a possible offensive against Iran by Israel, which is a major supplier of arms to Baku.
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