A man armed with a type rifle kalashnikov stormed the embassy of Azerbaijan in the capital of Irankilling the head of security at the diplomatic headquarters and injuring two guards, authorities said.
Tehran Police Chief, General Hossein Rahimiattributed the attack to “personal and family problems,” according to Iranian state television.
However, the assault occurs at a time of great tension for months between Azerbaijan and Iran.
Video purportedly from the scene of the attack showed an empty diplomatic police post near the embassy, with an apparently injured man in a jeep parked outside. Inside the embassy, past a metal detector, paramedics stood over what appeared to be a lifeless body in a small office as blood pooled on the floor.
The Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Iran of terrorist attack” and announced the evacuation of its diplomatic staff.
“All responsibility for the attack rests with Iran.”, declared the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ayxan Hacizadato local media, stating that a recent anti-Azerbaijani campaign in the Iranian media had “encouraged the attack”. Embassy staff “are being evacuated from Iran,” he added.
“An investigation is currently underway into this treacherous attack.”, the ministry said after the attack. The ministry also described how the attacker destroyed a guard post with assault rifle fire before being detained by wounded guards, whom authorities described as being in a “satisfactory” condition after being shot.
“We demand that this terrorist act be investigated and the terrorist be punished”declared in a statement the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev. “A terrorist attack against diplomatic missions is unacceptable!”
Iranian state television quoted rahimi saying that the gunman had entered the embassy with his two sons during the attack. However, surveillance footage from inside the embassy released in Azerbaijan, which matched details in the other aftermath video and was time-stamped to match the statement by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, showed that the Gunmen burst alone through the embassy gates.
People inside tried to get through the metal detector to take cover. The man opens fire with the rifle, muzzle flashing, as he chases the men into the small side office. Another man bursts through a side door and wrestles the gunman for the rifle as the recording ends.
Apparently, the Iranian prosecutor Mohammad Shahriari stated that the wife of the attacker had disappeared in April after a visit to the embassy. Iranian news agency Mizan Shahriari was quoted as saying that the shooter believed his wife was still in the embassy at the time of the attack, even though some eight months had passed.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani, He also said his country strongly condemned the attack, which was being investigated with “high priority and sensitivity.”
Azerbaijan borders northwestern Iran. Has been tensions between both countriesgiven that Azerbaijan Y Armenia have clashed over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In October, Iran held military exercises near the border with Azerbaijan, showing off its military might amid protests rocking the Islamic Republic. Azerbaijan also maintains close ties with Israel., which Tehran considers its main regional enemy. The Islamic Republic and Israel are locked in a shadow war as Iran’s nuclear program enriches uranium at a faster rate than ever before to levels suitable for the manufacture of atomic weapons.
Turkey, which maintains close ties with Azerbaijan, condemned the attack, calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and for measures to be taken to prevent similar attacks in the future. Turkey has supported Azerbaijan against Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Turkey, which has been subjected to similar attacks in the past, deeply shares the pain of the Azerbaijani people,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated. “Brother Azerbaijan is not alone. Our support for Azerbaijan will continue without interruption, as it has always done.”
(With information from AP)
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