Foreign Ministry warns Azerbaijan, Armenia against violating Iranian soil

October 3, 2020 - 21:31

TEHRAN – In a statement on Saturday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry warned about any encroachment on the Iranian soil by Azerbaijan and Armenia, saying any violation against Iranian territories would be “intolerable.”

The warning came after many rockets and mortar shells landed on Iranian territories on the borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia, which are locked in fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

“Movements in the border areas of our country are being seriously and sensitively monitored by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in this regard, while declaring any attack by any of the warring parties in the region on our country is intolerable, we seriously warn all parties to seriously take care in this regard,” the ministry said.

It also called for respecting the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, protecting civilians, ceasing the clashes, and starting serious and time-framed talks. The Foreign Ministry expressed readiness to help achieve these goals.

Clashes erupted between Azerbaijan and Armenia on September 27, killing dozens of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops. The two countries are fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, a breakaway internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by Armenian forces. The warring sides are using artillery and mortar shells, with Azerbaijan also using advanced combat drones that are capable of targeting Armenian positions without being intercepted.  

As the war raged between Armenia and Azerbaijan, mortar shells and rockets landed inside Iranian territories without causing any fatalities among people living in border areas. However, images and videos circulating on social media platforms showed that the projectiles have caused damage to some houses and farms.
 
Iran has called on both sides of the war to immediately cease the conflict and resolve disputes through dialogue.

“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,” tweeted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shortly after Armenia and Azerbaijan began the war.

Azerbaijan has announced that the only way to end the war is for Armenia to retreat from Nagorno-Karabakh. Otherwise, Azerbaijan will continue the fighting.

“Ceasefire okay, but on what conditions? Conditions must be that they withdraw from the territories. I said just two days ago, let them start withdrawal, let us have the timetable for withdrawal, let them undertake serious obligations proved by mediators and the ceasefire, and also, obey the ceasefire regime and of course, we will also do the same. Why should we need this military clash? We need our territories back by peaceful means and we demonstrated for 28 years our willingness to have a peaceful settlement,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with Al Jazeera TV, according to the Trend news agency.

On the other hand, Armenia announced that the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is possible when Turkey leaves the conflict zone.

“Peaceful resolution will be possible when terrorists and Turkey leave our region with their goals,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a tweet on Saturday.

SM/PA

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