On Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry called Turkey’s ambassador about comments by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a visit to Azerbaijan, which Tehran related that indicated the intervention in its affairs.
During the visit, Erdogan read an Azeri-Iranian poem about the division of Azerbaijan’s territory between Russia and Iran in the 19th century. Whereas, Tehran looked worried that his comments could provoke separatist tendencies among Iran’s Azeri minority.
The Foreign Ministry related on its website: The Turkish ambassador was informed that the era of territorial claims and expansionist empires are over, adding: Iran does not allow anyone to meddle in its territorial integrity.
Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said in a tweet: President Erdogan was not informed that what he ill-recited in Baku refers to the forcible separation of areas…from (the) Iranian motherland.
He also said: NO ONE can talk about OUR beloved Azerbaijan, in reference to a northwest region of Iran where several of ethnic Azeris live. In fact, Azeris speak a language very similar to Turkish, but most follow the Shiite Islam that is Iran’s state religion.
It should be noted that the Iranian region of Azerbaijan located at the borders of the independent state of Azerbaijan, which is a former Soviet Republic. Turkey has actually become a close ally of Azerbaijan, supporting it to achieve major territorial advantages against Armenians in a war that finished with a ceasefire last month.
State-owned Anadolu news agency reported that Turkey’s foreign ministry also called Iran’s ambassador in Ankara and protested assertions about President Erdogan.