Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Turkey’s ambassador on Friday over what it said was “meddlesome” remarks by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a visit to Azerbaijan.
Erdogan recited an Azeri-Iranian poem about the division of Azerbaijan’s territory between Russia and Iran in the 19th century. Tehran appeared concerned his remarks could fan separatist tendencies among Iran’s Azeri minority.
“The Turkish ambassador was informed that the era of territorial claims and expansionist empires is over,” the Foreign Ministry said on its website. “Iran does not allow anyone to meddle in its territorial integrity.”
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted earlier: “President Erdogan was not informed that what he ill-recited in Baku refers to the forcible separation of areas…from (the Iranian motherland.” “NO ONE can talk about OUR beloved Azerbaijan,” Zarif said, referring to the northwest region of Iran where many of its ethnic Azeris live.