BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 30. The terrorist attack on the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran on January 27, 2023, incurred the severest condemnation of the world community, Trend reports.
As a result of the armed attack, one embassy employee was killed and two were injured. The culprit of the incident is Yasin Huseynzade, an Iranian citizen, and, according to the foreign media, there are suspicions that he is connected with the special services of Iran, primarily with the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps].
If the embassy guards had not stopped the attack, all embassy employees were planned to be killed. The police in the area have not made any attempts to prevent the terrorist attack, and currently, no operational actions are being taken.
This is not the first time that foreign embassies have been attacked in Iran. Even before that, there were attacks on embassies, consulates, international missions, and foreign citizens. What is happening requires effective steps by the international community to prevent such incidents in the future.
As Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov told reporters yesterday, Iran is responsible for the terrorist attack on the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran.
"According to the relevant articles of the Vienna Convention, the country in which the embassy is located is responsible for security. Iran as a host state is responsible for the terrorist act and its grave consequences," said the deputy FM.
"We have repeatedly brought to the attention of the Iranian side that there are threats to the diplomatic representation of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the territory of Iran. We demanded that Iran strengthen security measures. The incident shows that Iran reacted irresponsibly to this, and as a result, this terrorist act was committed," the deputy minister added.
According to Khalafov, Azerbaijan intends to implement appropriate international mechanisms to investigate the terrorist attack on the embassy in Tehran.
Speaking about the importance of the prompt investigation of what has happened, American analyst Irina Zuckerman told Trend that the issue requires diplomatic intervention.
“In 2016, when the Saudi Embassy was attacked in Iran, a number of countries broke off diplomatic relations with Iran, and some still not have formally restored them. The reason for that was not just merely poor security but because elements of the Iranian government played a part in organized attacks. Iran is a surveillance state; it is simply impossible for something like that to happen without the authorities being aware and giving approval or even planning involvement. I think given the obviously growing hostilities against Azerbaijan by the Iranian government - and the other provocations that have done nothing but escalate tensions, it may be wise to evacuate the embassy for the time being and make it virtual and downgrade diplomatic relations to send a political message to Tehran,” she said.
Zuckerman noted that of course, all efforts should be made to demand accountability for this incident which is only likely to repeat if met with impunity.
“Let's recall that when the Baku Embassy in London was attacked by an extremist group it was rumored that they had links to Iran as well. If that is the case, this is not just an isolated incident but part of a pattern, which is particularly disturbing since Iran has also been accused of masterminding attacks on former officials and critics in other countries,” the analyst added.
Peter Tase, US expert, and strategic adviser on international affairs and public diplomacy to governments, universities, and corporations in Europe and the Americas told Trend that the terrorist attack on the Azerbaijani Embassy must be condemned with the maximum level of resilience and EU, US must impose economic sanctions against the political elite of Tehran.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always supported with weapons and unmanned air vehicles the terrorist regime of Armenia. Tehran is the main sponsor of Armenian armed attacks inside the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. In front of these blatant actions, the international community including the UN and OSCE has not condemned the malign, warmongering efforts of the Iranian terrorist regime in the South Caucasus and Eurasia. It is a fact that Iran is not anymore a regional player, indeed its theocratic government has become a threat and source of terrorist operations on both sides of the Atlantic. The terrible attack against the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Tehran is a major terrorist attack, this brutal action must be condemned with the maximum level of resilience, and the EU and US must impose economic sanctions against the political elite of Tehran,” he said.
Tase pointed out that for over 30 years Iran has financed terrorist operations and financial services that directly benefit Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations and their political aspirations.
“This attack against Azerbaijan happens only a few hours after the US Department of State announced serious actions and financial sanctions against the current Vice President of Paraguay Hugo Adalberto Velázquez Moreno for his deep ties and strong alliance with Hezbollah and other criminal organizations in the Middle East, and serious sanctions are imposed by the US Department of the Treasury against Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara (former president of Paraguay, 2013-2018) for his money laundering activities that have directly supported Iran and its terrorist allies in the region. Actions of this magnitude must continue against the ruthless regime of Tehran,” said the US expert.
He noted that the order of closing of Iranian Embassy in Tirana, Republic of Albania, in September 2022, is another important action taken towards reducing the malign influence of Iran and assuring that the Ayatollahs do not expand their terrorist operations in the South Caucasus.
“The recent attack against the Embassy of Azerbaijan, must be condemned and unbridled actions should be taken until the warmongers of Tehran are down to their knees,” said Peter Tase.
Richard Hoagland, the former co-chair of the former OSCE Minsk Group from the US offered sincere condolences to the family of the killed head of the security service.
“Unfortunately, terrorist attacks against embassies can happen anywhere in the world, and the job of an embassy guard is extremely dangerous. Preparation and prevention are the best defenses. It is also essential for the embassy to have close relations with the host country's security forces and to ensure that the best defenses are in place. But the sad truth is that terrorists will strike -- that's the sad reality of our current world,” he said.
Former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza told Trend that if the Iranian government stands behind this terrorist attack, it means a serious diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
“At this point, not enough is known to assess whether the Government of Iran is somehow complicit with this attack, though senior sources in the Azerbaijani government are suggesting this is the case, which would mean Azerbaijan and Iran have entered a serious diplomatic and security crisis. If this murderer was acting independently of the Government of Iran, however, the situation would be quite different,” he explained.
At the moment, the terrorist attack is being investigated. But the Iranian side is spreading fake versions regarding the motives of the armed attack on the diplomatic mission, and these versions are also repeated by the Tehran police and other responsible persons, which raises many questions. In a statement, the Tehran police said that the attacker came to the embassy with two children and that the killer was looking for his wife, who was "hiding" in the embassy. But the footage of the moment of the attack also proves that the statements from the Iranian side are false. The attacker was not with children, as said by the Iranian side, he was alone and intended to kill all the embassy staff.
The attack on Azerbaijan's diplomatic mission is a continuation of Iran's long-standing anti-Azerbaijani hysteria and escalation policy. It is obvious that all these provocations are nothing but instructions from the Iranian authorities and special services themselves. The statements from the Iranian side are lies and are aimed at distracting attention from a terrorist who has some links with the Iranian special services.