Iranwire – Azerbaijan has issued a travel warning for Iran following a deadly attack on its embassy in Tehran that has heightened simmering tensions between the two neighboring countries.
“Due to the unstable situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the terrorist attack against the diplomatic mission of our country, the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan are advised not to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran unless necessary,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on January 31.
Azerbaijani citizens who are currently in Iran “are advised to observe safety and security rules,” the statement added.
On January 27, a man armed with a Kalashnikov-like rifle stormed into the premises of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran and opened fire, killing the security chief of the diplomatic mission and injuring two guards.
Two days later, Baku evacuated embassy staff and family members from Iran.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said the shooting was the result of Tehran failing to heed its calls for better security.
Iranian authorities said the gunman, who has been arrested, appeared to have had a personal motive.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called for “a comprehensive investigation” of the incident, state media reported.
The incident came as tensions have been high for months between Baku and Tehran amid the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
In October, the Islamic Republic launched a military exercise near the Azerbaijani border amid prolonged and still ongoing anti-government protests in Iran. Baku also maintains close ties to Israel, which Tehran considers as its top regional foe.
Ethnic Azeris number more than 12 million people in Iran and represent the country’s largest minority group.