One Person Killed In Armed Attack On Azerbaijan Embassy In Iran
Azerbaijani foreign ministry say a guard has been killed in the attack.
A guard has been killed in an armed attack on Azerbaijan’s embassy in Iran’s capital Tehran, the Azeri foreign ministry has said. “The attacker broke through the guard post, killing the head of security with a Kalashnikov assault rifle,” it said. Friday's attack has also injured two guards, the ministry added. An investigation has been launched.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said the assault on his country’s embassy was “an act of terrorism” and demanded a swift probe. “I firmly condemn the act of terrorism carried out at the embassy of Azerbaijan in Tehran,” Aliyev said on Twitter. Police in Tehran said they have arrested a suspect and are investigating the motive.
The suspect entered the embassy with two young children and may have been motivated by “personal issues”, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, citing the police chief. However, surveillance footage shared by Iranian state-owned news outlet Press TV showed what appeared to be the gunman entering the embassy alone and firing shots inside the building, before scuffling with one man who tries to stop him.
The Iranian judiciary’s Mizan news agency quoted Iranian prosecutor Mohammad Shahriari as saying the gunman’s wife had disappeared in April after a visit to the embassy. Shahriari added the man believed his wife was still in the embassy at the time of the attack, some eight months later.
Turkey, which has close ties to Azerbaijan, condemned the “treacherous attack” and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter “Azerbaijan is never alone” and sent his condolences to the relatives of the victim.
Relations between Baku and Tehran have been traditionally sour, as Turkic-speaking Azerbaijan is a close ally of Turkey, Iran’s historical rival. Iran, home to millions of ethnic Azerbaijanis, has long accused Baku of fomenting separatist sentiments in its territory. Iran is also suspicious of Azerbaijan’s military cooperation with Israel - a major arms supplier to Baku - saying Tel Aviv could potentially use Azerbaijani territory as a bridgehead against Iran.