Spokesman: Aliyev’s Anti-Iran Trafficking Accusations Serves Israel, Harms Ties with Iran
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh strongly dismissed as "surprising" and "fake" the recent accusations by Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev who claimed that Iran has cooperated with Armenia on organized drug trafficking, and said that such claims only serve the interests of the Israeli regime and harm the fraternal relations between Tehran and Baku.
"Unfortunately, it seems that despite the positive and private messages received from Baku in various phone calls, the Azeri government has an intention to make baseless media statements that, of course, will be responded appropriately," Khatibzadeh said on Friday.
He reiterated that the Iranian and Azeri nations enjoy strong cordial relations.
The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman recalled Iran's leading role in fighting drug smuggling, and said that as repeatedly confirmed by international bodies, thousands of Iranian police officers have lost their lives and many others wounded in the campaign against narcotics over the past four decades which is only an example of the Islamic Republic’s endeavor to battle the sinister phenomenon.
Khatibzadeh's remarks came in reaction to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev's allegations during a videotaped address at a meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Council of the Heads of State in Minsk on Friday.
Aliyev claimed that for years Armenia and Iran used the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh to transport drugs to Europe. He also claimed that the volume of heroin seized by his country along the general Azerbaijani-Iranian border has doubled compared to the same period in previous years.
Addressing the same meeting, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan rejected Aliyev’s accusation, saying that “law enforcement bodies of Armenia and Iran are closely and effectively cooperating against illegal drug trafficking".
“We are very closely cooperating with Iran’s law enforcement bodies and are fighting very effectively against illegal drug trafficking. I can also present numbers which demonstrate that the volume of seized drugs and the number of arrests in illegal drug trafficking cases have grown by three, four and even more times,” Pashinyan stated.