Iran’s ambassador to Azerbaijan threatens Israeli ambassador
While Israel and Azerbaijan enjoy close relations, this isn't the first time Iran has tried to drive a wedge between the two
Iran’s ambassador to Azerbaijan issued an apparent threat against the Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan, George Deek, by suggesting that he would be “buried” by the people of Tabriz.
“Our beloved #Tabriz is known as the land of FIRSTS in #Iran’s proud history. Apparently, the FIRST Evil Zionist is going to be buried by the zealous people of Tabriz, too,” Abbas Mousavi wrote in a tweet last Thursday.
Tabriz is a city in northwestern Iran which serves as the capital of Iran's East Azerbaijan province and home to a large number of Azerbaijanis. The tweet came as a response to Deek’s tweet that he had been reading a book titled “Magic Tales of Tabriz,” and that he had learned so much about Azerbaijani history and culture in Tabriz from the book.
Although Tabriz is often called the “city of firsts,” this is not the first time that Iran has involved itself in Azerbaijan’s relations with Israel. Last year there was a spike in tensions between the two states when Azerbaijan began stopping Iranian trucks and giving them fines and arresting the drivers. At that time, Iran moved military forces to the border and warned against the presence of Israeli influence near its borders.
The commander of the Iranian border guard, Ahmed Ali Goudarzi, said at the time that Israeli forces were present in “sensitive areas” in bordering countries and were conducting intelligence work and espionage. He advised all Muslim countries to “not allow this.”
Goudarzi also claimed that large fees were being placed on Iranian heavy truck drivers by the Azerbaijanis due to incitement by Israel. This claim of Israeli influence on Iranian border states was also picked up by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who warned that Israel was maintaining a presence in Iran’s border states.
“The Zionist regime has started provocative actions in our region through the territory of Azerbaijan.” he said. “We consider some of the harsh statements made by the Azerbaijani authorities these days to be unconstructive.”
This led Azerbaijan's State Border Service (SBS) to reject the claims, saying that their country did not need “the support of foreign forces.”
Mousavi was also involved in the tensions at that time when he claimed in an interview with Al-Mayadeen News that there were 1,000 Israeli operatives with advanced equipment in Azerbaijan and that they had been involved in the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
At the time, Azerbaijan denied any allegations of an Israeli presence in the country.
Amid these tensions along the Azerbaijani border, Iran last September launched a military exercise that it named “Conquerors of Khaybar,” a possible reference to the 628 A.D. Battle of Khaybar, when Muslims, led by Muhammed fought against and conquered the Jews living there, finally imposing a tax on them.
At the time, Iranian officials even said that the exercises were meant to send a message to Israel and to ISIS, which they also claimed had a presence in Azerbaijan, that Tehran will take any action needed to defend its borders. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that his country "will not tolerate the presence of the Zionist regime near our borders," in reference to Azerbaijan’s known close relationship with Israel.
The exercise led Azarbaijani’s President Ilham Aliyev to express his shock, noting that this was the first time in Azerbaijan’s 30 years of independence that such a thing had happened.
Azerbaijan and Israel enjoy close ties and the Muslim country used Israeli arms and missiles, including the Harop suicide drone, in its 2020 war with neighboring Armenia – a Christian nation. Aliyev said in May that Baku and Jerusalem share ties, especially in the area of defense.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.