(Bloomberg) – Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has defended his country’s decision to hold military exercises near the border with Azerbaijan, which other officials have linked to Baku’s close ties with the enemy of Tehran, Israel.
Iran to start military exercises linked to rivalry with Israel
Without naming anyone, Khamenei said countries in the region around northwestern Iran should not allow “foreign armies that serve their own national interests” to interfere in their affairs or become involved in them. their armies. He also said the presence of foreign forces in the Middle East was “a source of destruction” and urged neighboring countries to “remain independent” and “join forces”.
The Islamic Republic is wary of Azerbaijan’s ties to Israel, which sold drones and other high-tech weapons that helped Baku score points in its war last year with Armenia in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azeri President criticizes Iranian military exercises near border
The Iranian military announced the exercises last week without specifying exactly where they were taking place. They involved armored units, drones, attack helicopters and electronic radar systems.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has expressed concern over Tehran’s massive military resources near his country for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union three decades ago. Tensions between countries also erupted over Azerbaijan’s imposition of a road tax on Iranian trucks traveling to Armenia via Nagorno-Karabakh.
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