Iranian Vice President Hamid Baghaei caused an uproar when he said the mass killings and deportation of Armenians during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire constituted “genocide.”
“A hundred years ago the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against a certain number of Armenians,” he was quoted as saying by Iranian news agency IRNA.
In an effort to contain the diplomatic maelstrom sparked by Baghaei's remarks, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday that Iran's position was in line with Turkey's stance on the issue, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported.
Davutoglu said that following the Iranian VP 's comments the Turkish Foreign Ministry immediately contacted both the Iranian Embassy in Ankara and the Turkish Embassy in Tehran.
“I asked for an explanation from Mr. Mottaki,” Davutoglu told journalists in the central Anatolian province of Karaman.
According to the report, the Iranian Embassy in Ankara released a statement saying that the Iranian vice president’s statements were not accurately reflected by some media outlets. The embassy stated that Baghaei commented on the subject only as a problem between Turkey and Armenia and that he did not express his opinions about the issue.
Hurriyet further reported that during their telephone conversation, Mottaki told Davutoglu that the conference attended by the Iranian vice president was about World War II, not about World War I, while repeating that there was no change in Tehran's position regarding the events of 1915.
However, Davutoglu told his Iranian counterpart that Turkey was awaiting an explanation from Baghaei himself.
“Mottaki told me that Baghaei will make an explanation,” Davutoglu was quoted by the Turkish newspaper as saying.
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