Tehran, May 19 (IANS): The Iranian Foreign Ministry has rejected any "official and unofficial" links between Iran and the Azerbaijani citizens arrested for allegedly working for the Iranian special service.
The Ministry's spokesman Nasser Kanaani made the remarks on Thursday in a statement published on the Iranian Foreign Ministry's website, in response to a Tuesday statement by the Azerbaijani Interior Ministry that it had "arrested at least nine citizens allegedly working for the special services of Iran and Armenia".
Kanaani accused the Azerbaijani government of arresting its citizens over "baseless" accusations and claims about their connections with Iranian institutions, Xinhua news agency reported.
He said the relations between the two countries' citizens are "heartfelt, emotional, historical, religious and even family-based," calling on the Azerbaijani government to refrain from attributing such deep-rooted and historical bonds to "security issues or associating them with the neighbouring states".
The spokesman said that Baku's move to arrest and imprison many citizens on the charges of having connections with Iran is "unacceptable".
The Azerbaijani Interior Ministry said members of the "Revenge 313" group were detained and investigated for writing "radical religious slogans" on the streets near government buildings, and sharing their images on social media "with the aim of creating confusion among citizens".