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Iran, Azerbaijan Seek To Soothe Tensions

Azerbaijan Defense Minister General Safar Abiyev (left) appears with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (right) in Tehran on March 13.
Iran and Azerbaijan have vowed to maintain good neighborly relations as Azerbaijan's Defense Minister Safar Abiyev continues his visit to Tehran for a second day.

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad was quoted by Iran's IRNA new agency as saying on March 13 that "Tehran-Baku ties will never be harmed."

Ahmadinejad's statement comes after Abiyev's public assurance late the previous day that Azerbaijan will never allow its territory to be used to stage an attack on Iran.

Tehran-Baku relations have been marred since reports last month that Azerbaijan had purchased some $1.6 billion of weapons from Israel.

In February, Iran accused Azerbaijan of allowing Israeli spies to use Azerbaijani territory, while Azerbaijan arrested an unspecified number of people, saying they were linked to Iran and were planning attacks in Azerbaijan.

With AFP and ITAR-TASS reporting

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