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Azerbaijan: Protesters Arrested During Rally

Baku, 17 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - A group of demonstrators held a protest in front of the Iranian Embassy in Baku on Friday, calling on Tehran to uphold the rights of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran. It was the second such demonstration this week.

Our correspondent reports that the rally involved some 50 members of the United Azerbaijani Movement. Police arrested some 10 of the protesters and prevented them from delivering a written resolution to the embassy. The resolution alleged that Iranian President Mohammed Khatami had failed to abide by a promise to grant greater autonomy to all Iranians, including Azerbaijanis.

The resolution also said that members of the movement don't accept old treaties of Iran and the Russian Empire which divided Azerbaijanis between the two countries. It demanded that the Iranian government allow Azerbaijanis to receive an education and publish in their native language.

Members of the movement also claimed that Iran and Armenia are arming Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. They demanded that Tehran stop delivering weapons to the region.