The head of security at Azerbaijan’s embassy in Tehran was killed on Friday and two guards injured in a attack by a man who said it was for personal reasons, the city’s police chief said.Azerbaijan’s ministry of Foreign Affairs says, it will evacuate its diplomatic staff.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev called the assault on his country’s embassy a “terrorist act” and demanded a swift investigation.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani “strongly condemned” the attack, according to state TV, saying the issue was under investigation with “high priority and sensitivity.”
Police in Tehran said they have arrested a suspect and are investigating the gunman’s motive.
The suspect entered the embassy with two children and may have been driven by “personal issues”, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, citing the police chief.
However, surveillance footage shared by the Iranian state-owned news outlet Press TV showed what appeared to be the gunman entering the embassy alone and firing inside the building before scuffling with one man who tried to stop him.
The Iranian judiciary’s Mizan news agency quoted Iranian prosecutor Mohammad Shahriari as saying the gunman’s wife had disappeared in April after a visit to the embassy. Shahriari added the man believed his wife was still in the embassy at the time of the attack.
Turkey, which has close ties with Azerbaijan, condemned the “treacherous attack” and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. “Azerbaijan is never alone,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter.
“Upon the order of political and security officials, the issue is being pursued with top priority and sensitivity so that aspects of the incident and the motivation of the attacker become clear.” Noting that initial investigations show personal motivations are behind the attack, Kan’ani urged the media to refrain from speculations.