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Iran Releases Azerbaijani Poets Accused Of Spying

Azerbaijani poets Shahryar Hajizadeh and Farid Husseinov
Iran has released two Azerbaijani poets who were arrested in May for alleged espionage.

According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the poets were handed over to Azerbaijan’s consulate in the Iranian city of Tabriz on September 4.

Relatives of poets Shahryar Hajizadeh and Farid Husseinov told RFE/RL that the pair is expected to arrive in Baku on September 6.

Last month, Iranian media reported allegations that the two had links to Azerbaijani secret services and had recruited a number of dissidents in Iran to promote separatism.

The case has come amid tensions between Iran and Azerbaijan over several issues, including Azerbaijani accusations that Iran plotted to carry out terrorist attacks in the Azeri capital, Baku.

Earlier this year, Azerbaijan arrested 22 people and accused them of spying for Iran.

Based on reporting by Interfax

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