Tehran denies transfer of weapons via Iran’s soil to Armenia

September 29, 2020 - 23:42

TEHRAN – Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, rebuffed on Tuesday allegations that Iranian soil was used as a transit route for the transfer of weaponry and military hardware to neighboring Armenia.

“The transit of conventional non-military items through Iran to neighboring countries has always been underway,” the spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement came after news media outlets claimed that trucks carrying weapons have been spotted along the Iran-Armenia border. However, Khatibzadeh said these trucks did not carry weapons and they were crossing Iran as usual.
 
“The mentioned trucks are crossing Iran simply within the same framework,” the statement said.

The spokesman also added, “The Islamic Republic of Iran carefully monitors and controls the trend of transportation and transit of commodities to other countries [via its soil] and does not allow our country’s soil to be used for the transfer of arms and ammunition whatsoever.”

The border trade between Iran and Armenia has become especially sensitive after a new wave of violence erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by Armenian forces. Both countries declared martial law and general mobilizations in efforts to secure victory in the clashes which began on Sunday in Nagorno-Karabakh but quickly spread into their territory. On Tuesday, Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of firing directly into each other’s territory beyond the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has urged the warring countries to “immediately stop the clashes and start a dialogue.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is worryingly and closely watching the clashes between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia and, while urging restraint, it urges the two countries to immediately stop the clashes and start a dialogue,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The Iranian embassy in Azerbaijan also denied the transfer reports.

“The embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Baku strongly denies the publication and repetition of baseless news regarding the transfer of weapons or forces affiliated with terrorist groups from the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Armenia,” the embassy said in a statement, accusing “third parties” of trying to tarnish the image of Iran in Azerbaijan.

The embassy also called into question the authenticity of videos purportedly showing the transfer of weapons and individuals via Iran to Armenia, saying this propaganda was aimed at “destroying the brotherly and friendly relations between Iran and Azerbaijan.”

SM/PA

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