Crisis talks between Baku and Tehran have continued over the weekend in a bid to reduce rising tensions between the two nations.
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told his counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov of the “necessity of Islamic solidarity between Iran and Azerbaijan against Israel”, Iran’s nemesis.
The two had frank discussions about what the state news agency, IRNA, termed the “existing misunderstandings” as both sides urged de-escalation.
It has been a tense few months between the two states. Iran angrily reacted to Azerbaijan’s opening an embassy in Tel Aviv in March, in addition to relations souring following an armed attack on Azerbaijan’s embassy in Tehran in January.
Just last week, Azerbaijan expelled four Iranian diplomats over “provocative actions” which have yet to become clear, with Iran promising to do the same in return. Six Azerbaijanis were arrested hours earlier accused of a Shi’ite coup plot, believed to have been led by Tehran.
This weekend, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Aykhan Hajizada, rebutted the pressure from Tehran, asserting that Islamic solidarity does not mean interfering in the internal affairs of other countries nor supporting the occupation of Muslim countries' lands.
In a bid to drive a wedge between Azerbaijan and Israel, the spokesman of Iran's Foreign Ministry, Nasser Kanaani, called on Azerbaijan to show Islamic solidarity against Israel and the recent events in Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Refusing to take the bait, Hajizada highlighted what it sees as Iranian hypocrisy: "The claim of Islamic solidarity by Iran comes as it did not protest against the occupation of the lands of the Republic of Azerbaijan by Armenia for 30 years."