The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday that Iran will continue the diplomatic efforts to return the Iran-Azerbaijan relations to a “normal and correct” path.
Nasser Kanaani made the remarks at a weekly press conference in the Iranian capital Tehran, commenting on a phone conversation between Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov on Sunday evening, according to a statement released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
“Good” steps have been taken so far toward the resolution of certain outstanding issues between the two countries, Kanaani was quoted as saying in the statement.
In the phone call, the Iranian foreign minister said Iran and Azerbaijan can resolve the problems in bilateral relations without third parties’ interference.
Bayramov, for his part, praised the Iranian foreign minister’s “constructive efforts” toward resolving the existing tensions, describing his conversation with Amir-Abdollahian as “positive.”
The Azerbaijani foreign minister also hoped that bilateral ties would further expand following the resolution of a number of outstanding issues.
Iran-Azerbaijan relations have soured over the past years due to the latter’s growing ties with Israel as well as a number of other incidents.
Among the factors leading to the deterioration of the two countries’ relations was a deadly armed attack on Azerbaijan’s embassy in Tehran in January, which was described as an “act of terror” by Baku, although Tehran said investigations revealed that the assailant had “personal and family-related” motivations.
Also in May, Iran expelled four Azerbaijani diplomats after declaring them “persona non grata” in a retaliatory response to the expulsion of four of its diplomats in Azerbaijan in April, according to the official news agency IRNA.