A group of Iranians and Azeris has been arrested on suspicion of smuggling arms and military supplies from Iran into Azerbaijan, the Azeri National Security Ministry said on Thursday.
Relations between Iran and neighbouring mountainous Azerbaijan have soured in recent months as Tehran accused it of assisting Israeli intelligence in the murder of Iranian nuclear scientists.
The National Security Ministry said the group also smuggled in a large quantity of narcotics from Iran into Azerbaijan.
In a separate incident, Baku arrested 22 Azeri citizens suspected of spying for Iran and plotting to attack Western embassies and companies in March.
Two months earlier, two men were arrested in Azerbaijan on suspicion of plotting attacks on foreigners, including the Israeli ambassador and a rabbi.
Authorities said the two suspects had been helped by an Iranian linked to Iran’s intelligence services, who supplied them with guns and explosives to smuggle from Iran.
Baku traditionally has had cordial ties with Tehran, but has grown increasingly wary of the increasing influence of Iran’s influence in the secular, but predominantly Muslim, former Soviet state.