Iran's positions on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

TEHRAN, Oct. 04 (MNA) – Iran has been calling for restraint and dialog between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute and most recently has given a stern warning to the two warring sides against violating Iran's territory.

Early Sunday, October 27, a new round of clashes erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the clashes continue to this day.

Regarding the latest developments on this territorial dispute, Azerbaijan continued to bomb the Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital on Saturday morning, while Armenia announced the downing of three jets belonging to Azerbaijan.

The incident began when the Armenian Defense Ministry announced that its forces had shot down two Azerbaijani helicopters and three UAVs in response to Baku's attacks. The ministry also declared a "state of war" and called on all its forces to stay vigilant.

The Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, in an emergency meeting with members of the Armenian parliament on the military conflict with the Republic of Azerbaijan, stated that Yerevan might formally recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Republic of Artsakh).

In response to Yerevan's move, the Azerbaijani parliament also declared a state of war in the involved regions. The fierce clashes have provoked reactions from different countries, with the Islamic Republic of Iran inviting the parties to put an end to the conflict and announcing readiness to use its capacities to enable talks between the two parties.

FM spox: Iran monitoring military clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia with great sensitivity

Iran’s first response to the conflict was delivered in a message by the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, who said on Sunday, September 27, that Iran has been monitoring the military clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia closely and with great sensitivity.

He also called on the two sides to show restraint, put an immediate end to the conflict, and begin talks. The spokesman further stressed Iran’s readiness to use all its capacities to establish a ceasefire and facilitate the process of talks between the two countries.

FM Zarif: Our region needs peace now

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a tweet on Sunday night wrote that “Iran is closely monitoring the alarming violence in Nagorno-Karabakh. We call for an immediate end to hostilities and urge dialogue to resolve differences. Our neighbors are our priority and we are ready to provide good offices to enable talks. our region needs peace now.”

Zarif also held separate telephone conversations with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on September 27. During the conversations, Zarif was informed of the latest situation on the ground, expressing concern over the situation, and calling on the two sides to show restraint, establish a ceasefire, and put an immediate end to hostilities. He also highlighted the need for negotiations within the framework of international law.

Zari further voiced Iran's readiness to provide good offices to both sides to put in place a ceasefire, enable talks and help establish peace and tranquility.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, told reporters in his weekly press conference on Sept. 28, that the conflict was bad news to all.

“The region can no longer withstand this level of violence. We immediately told our friends in the two countries that the sooner the conflict is over and the talks start, the better it is for both sides involved. We think that an immediate ceasefire, the cessation of hostilities, and the start of bilateral talks are the only definitive solution to this issue. Iran's policy has not changed and has always been to facilitate dialogue between the two sides. A military solution will not be a lasting one to this decades-long dispute.”

He further added, “The Islamic Republic of Iran will use all its capacities to help achieve objectives. We have been monitoring the developments in the region closely and with seriousness and great sensitivity, and we are constantly in touch with the warring sides. We are definitely looking for an immediate ceasefire and we will keep our capacity active in this regard.”

"We cannot tolerate the continuation of military conflicts on our borders and we will try our best to reach a state of tranquility on this border,” he concluded.

Government spox: We are following the recent dispute carefully and with concern

Ali Rabiee, the government spokesman, said on Sept. 29: "We are following the recent conflict in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan with great care and concern. We believe that the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia, inspired and energized by history and the coexistence of civilizations in the pre-colonial centuries and by relying on their cultural commonalities, can find a peaceful way to resettle the displaced and return to pre-occupation times. The Islamic Republic is ready to help establish lasting peace in the region.”

Rabiee stressed, "Iran holds a very clear position on the need to observe and recognize the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and it has repeatedly emphasized this legitimate right within the framework of international law and UN resolutions. We also believe that the dispute between the two neighboring countries of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia has a peaceful solution and that Iran, Turkey, and Russia can help the two neighbors to implement UN resolutions and resolve their differences in a peaceful manner.”

Vaezi’s telephone conversation with the prime minister of Azerbaijan

President's Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi in a telephone conversation with First Deputy of the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, Shahin Mustafayev, on Sept. 30 expressed his concern over the territorial dispute, saying "We are following the recent developments carefully and with seriousness. We are ready to assist in resolving the differences between the two countries through dialogue and negotiation within the framework of international law and regulations.”

The President's Chief of Staff strongly dismissed the media-circulated rumors that Iran was sending aid to Armenia in the conflict between the two countries, adding "These rumors are completely baseless and are aimed at undermining the good relations between Iran and Azerbaijan.”

In this conversation, First Deputy of the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, Shahin Mustafayev called the Islamic Republic of Iran a good neighbor and friend of Azerbaijan, saying "The two countries have sincere relations with each other and we should not allow these good relations to be damaged by hostile efforts."

Meanwhile, Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on September 29, reacted to some false allegations made by the media about the transit of arms and military equipment through the Iranian territory to Armenia. “The transit of conventional civilian goods between the Islamic Republic of Iran and neighboring countries has always been on track and the mentioned trucks operate only in this framework. The Islamic Republic of Iran, while closely monitoring and controlling the transit of goods to other countries, does not allow its territory to be used for the transfer of weapons and ammunition,” he stressed.

The embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Baku also rejected this baseless claim in a statement.

President Rouhani’s telephone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

Furthermore, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made a telephone call to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on September 30, referring to the long-standing dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region and stressed the need to resolve it within the framework of international regulations and territorial integrity.

"Putting an end to these conflicts is important to us and we expect the two countries of Armenia and Azerbaijan to take steps in this direction with tact and restraint," he said.

Emphasizing that war for sure would not resolve problems, tensions, and disputes, the Iranian president said "Any foreign intervention in this matter will not only not help resolve the problem, but it will also prolong the conflicts and tensions and further complicate the situation."

Rouhani then announced Iran’s readiness to play any constructive role as approved by the two friendly and neighboring countries, and said "Our wish is an immediate cessation of hostility and we should all seek to resolve the region's issues through politics and international regulations.”

In this conversation, the Prime Minister of Armenia referred to the recent developments in the military conflict with Azerbaijan, and described any tension and conflict to the detriment of all countries in the region and welcomed any practical initiative to stop the violence.

Nikol Pashinyan also expressed concern over any foreign interference in the dispute between the two countries.

Zarif’s consultations over the telephone

During this time, the Iranian foreign minister Zarif also discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh developments with his counterparts in the Netherlands, Austria, and Russia, in addition to his previous telephone consultations with the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia.

In addition, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh in an interview with ISNA cast doubt over some reports that elements of the PKK and PJAK (Kurdistan Free Life Party) terrorist groups, as well as some Takfiri terrorist groups, had been transferred from Syria to the Caucasus region, saying the reports were “suspicious” and “unverified”.

He went on to add, "The Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow terrorist groups to turn the neighboring areas of our country's northern borders into a threatening zone to our national security. Extending the conflict to the Caucasus will lead to far greater catastrophes for the region than the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”

Warning to warring sides

On October 3, Khatibzadeh also reacted to reports of some attacks carried out on the Iranian territory amid the recent conflicts between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia, saying “The movements alongside our borders are being monitored with seriousness and great sensitivity. While any aggression by any of the warring parties into our country will not be tolerated, we are also warning the sides to take the necessary care in this regard.”

He then reiterated the need to respect the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the principle of non-aggression against civilians, the cessation of hostilities, and the start of serious and timely talks, as well as the readiness of the Islamic Republic to help achieve these objectives.

MNA/FNA13990712000322

News Code 164303

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