Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif on Friday blasted and slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for reciting a poem during a military parade in Baku on Thursday that seemed to incite separatism that could adversely effect Iran and its territorial integrity.
The poem Erdogan quoted seems to have struck a nerve with Tehran, which said that it contained a veiled threat to Iran by promoting separatism to the ethnic Azerbaijanis who make up most of the population in north west of the country along the Arax river.
“Was Pres. Erdogan not informed that what he ‘ill-recited’ in Baku refers to the forcible separation of areas north of Aras [Arax River] from the Iranian homeland?” Zarif tweeted.
“Didn’t he realize that he was undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan? NO ONE can talk about OUR beloved Azerbaijan,” he added, referring to the eponymous province of Iran.
The Iranian state IRNA news agency described Erdogan’s recital of poem as “separatist sentiments about the Aras River which runs along the Iran-Azerbaijan border.”
Tensions were heightened during Azerbaijan’s aggressive military operation against Artsakh when the fighting came close to the Iranian border, with Azeri drones crashing on several occasions near civilian ares of Iran proper.
Soon after Zarif’s tweet, the Iranian foreign ministry summoned Turkey’s Ambassador to Iran Derya Örs,” to explain the ”confusing and unacceptable” remarks made by the Turkish president in Baku, said Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, according to Mehr News.
Khatibzadeh said that Tehran expressed its resolute complaint against such remarks, calling on the Turkish government to provide explanations as soon as possible.
“During the meeting with the Ambassador, the Director General of the Foreign Ministry for Eurasia Affairs stressed that the era of territorial aspirations and belligerent empires is long a thing of the past. The Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow anyone to infringe upon its territorial integrity. History has shown that Iran will not compromise its national security,’’ Khatibzadeh said.