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Iran Bristles at Azerbaijan for Hosting Forum of Separatists

Iran lodged a protest with Azerbaijan, an ally of the U.S. and Israel, for hosting a conference of groups seeking independence for the Islamic republic’s 20 million-strong minority of ethnic Azeris.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi yesterday summoned Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Tehran, Cavansir Axundov, telling him that “such actions can seriously damage” ties between the two neighbors, according to Iran’s state-run Press TV news channel. Elman Abdullayev, a spokesman for the Azeri Foreign Ministry, wasn’t immediately available to comment.