BAKU, February 1. /TASS/. Azerbaijani Interior Ministry officers have detained 39 people as part of a special operation to uncover subversive activities in the country ‘under the guise of religion’, the Azerbaijani news agency APA reported on Wednesday.
"The special operation conducted in Azerbaijan by Interior Ministry officers led to the detention of 39 people who carried out subversive activities on the territory of the country under the guise of religion," the agency reported. According to its information, the detainees, "posing as believers, made propaganda for Iran on social networks and abused the freedom of religion in the country, carrying out the assignments of the Iranian special services."
Last Tuesday, Azerbaijan's Trend news agency reported on a special operation conducted by the Interior Ministry against the Iranian cell in the country, during which seven people were detained. According to Trend, the operation was carried out in Baku and several Azerbaijani regions, including the editorial offices of pro-Iranian news publications ’Shalam News’ and ‘InterAz’.
Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Vahan Kostanyan previously told Al-Monitor that Armenia had intelligence that Azerbaijan was preparing a large-scale aggression against Armenia in September 2022, which was thwarted thanks to Iran's actions.
"We had intelligence that Azerbaijan was preparing a large-scale aggression when it attacked Armenia last September. Iran's actions and reports helped prevent the situation from further degradation. Iran is a key partner for Armenia. The border with Iran is of paramount importance to Yerevan. We have two closed borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan, so the only gate to the outside world is through Iran and Georgia," Kostanyan said.
On the night of September 13, the Armenian Defense Ministry reported about Azerbaijani armed forces' shelling of Armenian settlements. Baku said it retaliated against Yerevan's provocations. Later, Azerbaijan announced that it had reached a ceasefire agreement, but Armenia said that the shelling continued. The Armenian Security Council held an emergency meeting at which it was decided to seek assistance from Russia in order to invoke the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, as well as from the CSTO and the UN Security Council.