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Iranian Azeris Prompt Tehran Diplomatic Protest

(RFE/RL) PRAGUE, March 17, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Comments by Iranian Azeris at a world congress of Azeris today prompted Tehran to send a diplomatic note to Azerbaijan.

The comments, which Tehran's ambassador to Baku described as offensive, reportedly referred to Azerbaijan and northern Iran as a single territory.

Ambassador Afshar Soleymani said the comments, which were made on March 16, amounted to "interference in Iran's internal affairs" and were, "from the viewpoint of international law,...this is very wrong and bad."

Azeris make up an estimated one-third of Iran's population. They are concentrated mainly in the north of Iran, along or close to its border with Azerbaijan.

RFE/RL Iran Report

RFE/RL Iran Report

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