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In a sign of mounting tensions between Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan, Baku’s Ambassador Ali Alizadeh was recently summoned to the foreign ministry in Tehran. A strong objection was conveyed to him over the “unfriendly statements of Azerbaijan’s top officials,” along with the expectation that such remarks must “cease immediately.” In a reciprocal move, Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry summoned Iran’s Ambassador Abbas Mousavi.
The statements that have irked Iran were uttered by Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in a Nov. 8 speech marking the victory over Armenia in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. Without naming Iran, Aliyev issued a thinly veiled warning that countries that conduct military exercises “in support of Armenia near our borders should know that we are the main power in the region, and if necessary, we can show that again.”
The previous month, in October, the Islamic Republic conducted military drills in an apparent warning to Azerbaijan not to annex a key strip of Armenian territory...
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