Ethnic Armenians, Azeris clash in Tehran - Azeri report

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Ethnic Armenians, Azeris clash in Tehran - Azeri report

525 Qazet, 4 May 02

BAKU

Text of unattributed report by Azerbaijani newspaper 525 Qazet on 4 May entitled "Fighting occurred in Tehran between Armenians and Azeris"

About 30 Armenians were taken to hospital

About 200 ethnic Armenians staged a picket outside the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran on 24 April. The picket was devoted to the anniversary of the fictitious "Armenian genocide". During the picket the protesters chanted Death to Turkey, Death to Azerbaijan and Karabakh is Ours. Members of the National Liberation Movement of South Azerbaijan and the protesters started fighting, which resulted in about 30 Armenians being taken to hospital.

The former Azerbaijani ambassador to Iran, Aliyar Safarli, has told the Olaylar news agency that during his term in office, Armenians attempted to stage pickets several times. The ex-envoy said: "I told the Armenians, if you stage pickets, there will be countersteps. In the four years of my work there, the Armenians did not dare hold pickets."

The former envoy described as a positive step that the Iranian Azeris for the first time started protesting against them. "I see this as a revival of the National Liberation Movement of South Azerbaijan. This event shows that national forces are becoming more active in the South. The national mentality of South Azerbaijan is entering a new stage."