Foreign ministry: Iran violates int`l conventions

Azerbaijan`s Foreign Ministry has dismissed Iranian media reports saying Baku was informed about the alleged crimes of two young Azerbaijani poets detained in the neighboring country in May.

Spokesman for the ministry, Elman Abdullayev, said that neither the Azerbaijani embassy in Iran nor the consulate general in Tabriz received information about the case.

``Iran is violating international conventions by failing to provide to the Azerbaijani side information about the fate of its two citizens.``

Iranian Tabnak and Aran websites claimed that the Azerbaijani poets, Farid Huseyn and Shahriyar Hajizada, were accused of drug trafficking and spying for Israel. According to the reports, the poets are allegedly drug traffickers from Russia to Europe.

``They confessed that they were spying for Mossad. It is considered as the gravest crime and the poets could be sentenced to death. The documents on the charges brought against them were sent to Baku,`` the Iranian media said.

Abdullayev said that such false reports have a negative impact on the relations between the two countries.

Azerbaijan`s Foreign Ministry earlier sent four diplomatic notes to the Iranian government demanding clarification of the situation with the missing citizens.

In June, Iranian Foreign Ministry confirmed the arrest of the two Azerbaijani nationals. According to the Iranian ministry`s response to Azerbaijan`s note, they are accused of ``attempting to commit a crime``.

Abdullayev said Azerbaijan last Thursday sent another diplomatic note to the Iranian Foreign Ministry demanding to provide more detailed information on both citizens and arrange for the Azerbaijani embassy employees` meeting with them.

``Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry keeps this matter in the focus of attention and will not allow our citizens to be imputed with a criminal case,`` Abdullayev said.

Presidential Administration official Ali Hasanov told reporters on Monday that Azerbaijan`s authorities have taken all steps under international law to clarify the fate of the young poets.

Hasanov said that talks with the Iranian government on the issue are underway. Relevant bodies are studying the reasons for the arrest and the Iranian government`s ``views on the future`` of the poets, he said.

Azerbaijani-Iranian relations have recently soured. Tension emerged after the rumors that a group of foreigners was going to organize a gay parade in Baku during the Eurovision song contest in late May. Afterwards, anti-Azerbaijani demonstrations were held in neighboring Iran urging to ban a gay parade and not to conduct the song contest, which allegedly contradicts Islamic values. In response, rallies were held in front of Iran`s embassy in Baku, with protesters urging to stop the hostile campaign. The tensions rose further after the two Azerbaijani poets went missing in Iran.