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Iran Denies Involvement Nagorno-Karabakh Broadcasts

BAKU -- The Iranian Embassy in Baku says Tehran has nothing to do with a new radio station broadcasting in the Talysh language from Azerbaijan's breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The denial was issued on March 28.

The Voice of Talyshistan began broadcasting March 20 from the territory, which is mostly populated by ethnic Armenians.

Armenian media reported last week that the radio's mission is to protect rights of the Talysh minority in Azerbaijan.

The Talysh live mostly in Azerbaijan and Iran and speak a Persian dialect.

Last year, the editor of the Baku-based "Tolisi sado" (The Voice of Talysh), an independent newspaper, was arrested on suspicion of heroin possession.

Hilal Mamedov was later charged with high treason and incitement of ethnic, religious, and racial hatred.

Human rights activists say the charges are politically motivated.

With additional reporting by