Iranian spox refutes claims on Azeri nationals, G7 accusations
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson dismisses any official or unofficial connection between arrested Azeri nationals and Tehran.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani on Thursday strongly denied Iran's connections with Azeri nationals recently arrested on charges of links with Iranian organizations.
"Sadly, the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been arresting and keeping its citizens in custody for some time on a charge and bogus allegation of links with Iranian institutions," Kanaani said.
The Iranian spokesperson refuted the "chain accusations" made recently by Azerbaijan against Iran, dismissing any official or unofficial connection between the arrested Azeri nationals and Tehran.
Kanaani noted that "the popular relationships between the citizens of the two countries are heartfelt, emotional, historical, religious and even family-based."
He stressed that the Azeri government "should not attribute such deep-rooted and historical bonds of its nationals to security issues or associate them with neighbors."
The diplomat said every government has the right to take action against law-breaking citizens but slammed Azerbaijan's arrest and imprisonment of several citizens on a charge of links with Iran as "inadmissible and unacceptable."
On Tuesday, Azerbaijan's Ministry of Interior, security service, and the office of the prosecutor general confirmed in a joint statement that at least nine Azeri nationals have been arrested, on charges of being "linked to Iranian secret services and of plotting a coup and assassinations."
The ties between Iran and Azerbaijan have deteriorated recently. Kanaani has previously noted the Israeli occupation has fueled instability and disputes in relation to Iran-Azerbaijan relations as well as his country’s ties with other Islamic nations.
Read more: Tehran: Not be silent on Israeli plots from inside Azerbaijan
Iran strongly condemns G7 accusations
In a separate context, Kanaani strongly condemned part of the statement issued by the Group of Seven (G7) in Japan on Saturday which accused Iran of involvement in illegal financial activities, state-run Iranian news agency IRNA reported.
Kanaani rebuked the G7 for leveling unfounded accusations against Iran.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson considered that instead of making baseless accusations, the G7 should stop abiding by the US illegal sanctions against Iran, which are a violation of international law and human rights.
Elsewhere, Kanaani underlined that G7 members should be held accountable for decisions that have violated the rights of the Iranian people.
Read more: Iran strongly protests to Azerbaijan over hostile local media campaign