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Azerbaijan Accuses Iran Of Interfering In Its Affairs

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov
BAKU -- Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov says Iran's latest statements about a planned visit to Baku by Israeli President Shimon Peres are regrettable and should not have come from Iran's military forces.

Mammadyarov said on June 3 that Azerbaijan “does not interfere in other countries' foreign affairs and will not allow other countries to do so." He added that "Azerbaijan pursues a foreign policy consistent with its national interests."

Peres is expected in Baku at the end of June or early July. Hasan Furuzabadi, the chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, recently said that Peres's visit would create problems between Iran and Azerbaijan.

Mammadyarov said Baku does not comment on the visits to Iran by high-ranking Armenian officials.

Ali Hasanov, the head of the presidential administration's socio-political department, reiterated on June 5 that Iran has no right to meddle in Azerbaijan's internal affairs, particularly in light of Tehran's relations with Armenia.

Referring to the Armenian-backed unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh inside Azerbaijan, Hasanov added: "This occupation contradicts Muslim rights, international laws, and humanitarian activity. However we have never commented on this partnership [between Iran and Armenia]."