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Iran arrests several Azeris amid tensions with Azerbaijan

As Iranian-Azeri ties continue to be strained, Iran has arrested at least five ethnic Azeris accused of espionage and terrorism.
A policeman stands guard in front of the Azerbaijan embassy in Tehran on January 27, 2023, following an attack. - Azerbaijan on January 27 said it was evacuating staff from its embassy in Tehran, blaming Iran for a "terrorist" attack in which the head of security was killed and two guards wounded. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Iranian authorities have arrested several ethnic Azeri people this week in raids across the country, in another setback to the Islamic Republic’s human rights record.

At least five Azeris were violently arrested in separate raids across the country, the Iranian Human Rights Activists News Agency reported on Wednesday.

The rights group identified the five people as Vadod Asadi and Saeed Minaie, who were detained in north-central Iran's Rasht; Ayaz Seyfkhah and Bagher Hajizadeh in the northwest's Tabriz; and Kamal Nouri in Tehran province's Eslamshahr.

The five, which the report described as activists, were taken to an undisclosed location and what charges will be filed against them remain unknown.

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