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TEHRAN, March 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Azerbaijan will never allow to use its territory to stage an attack on Iran, Iran’s Fars news agency reported late on Monday, citing Azerbaijani Defence Minister Safar Abiyev, who arrived here on a visit.
“Not a single country can set Azerbaijan and Iran against each other, and none will be allowed to use Azerbaijan’s territory to threaten or stage an attack on Iran. This is our resolute position,” the Azerbaijani defence minister stressed. When asked about his country’s contacts with Israel, Abiyev said, “In order to strengthen its armed forces Azerbaijan has to buy weapons and munitions, but these weapons will never be used against Iran.”
“Azerbaijan maintains cooperation in the military sphere with many states. Iran is out closest neighbour and a friendly state. Bilateral military cooperation is at a good level, and we want to expand it in future,” he said.
Relations between Tehran and Baku have deteriorated in the recent time. In February, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Iran Dzhavavshir Akhundov was twice summoned to the foreign ministry. On the first occasion, Iran urged Azerbaijan to stop anti-Iranian activities of Israeli secret services on its territory. A protest was expressed to the Azerbaijani ambassador over the fact that Mossad-backed terrorists involved in the murder of Iranian scientists were allowed to move across the Azerbaijani territory, the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement of February 12, 2012. On February 29, Iran demanded that Azerbaijan should provide explanations regarding a big Azerbaijani-Israeli arms deal worth 1.6 billion U.S. dollars.