Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has told visiting Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev that Tehran believes Israel is working to weaken ties between the two countries.
“The evil Zionist regime is making efforts more than all enemies to weaken the brotherly relations between Iran and Azerbaijan,” Khamenei said in a March 5 meeting with Aliyev.
He said the neighbors should be "vigilant" in protecting what he called their friendly ties.
Khamenei also praised Azerbaijan’s position on Iran’s nuclear program, without going into detail.
"In political circles and communities, the Azeri government has always stood by Iran and these positive stances bring the two countries closer than ever to each other," Khamenei was quoted as saying by Iranian media.
Iran has in the past been critical of Azerbaijan’s strong ties with Israel, which sells weapons and defense equipment to Baku.
Tehran does not recognize the state of Israel.
Aliyev was on a one-day visit and met earlier in the day with Iranian President Hassan Rohani.