Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has no military solution: senior MP

October 4, 2020 - 22:14

TEHRAN – Conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region cannot be resolved militarily, a senior Iranian lawmaker has said.

“Negotiation and dialogue are the only solutions to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and this conflict cannot be settled militarily,” said Hossein Noushabadi, the head of the Parliament’s International Diplomacy and National Interests faction. 

Noushabadi said the conflict is nothing new and Azerbaijan and Armenia have always been locked in the dispute over the mountainous breakaway.
 
“This conflict is nothing new. The Nagorno-Karabakh region has always been claimed to be part of the two countries. Armenia has seized Nagorno-Karabakh in a war that happened years ago. But Azerbaijan wants to take it back. On the other hand, Armenia also considers the region as part of its territory because this region is very important in the Caucasus,” Noushabadi said in an interview with the Islamic Republic Broadcasting (IRIB) news agency. 

According to the lawmaker, Iran’s policy toward the Nagorno-Karabakh region has always been based on the principle of non-interference in internal affairs. He also said that Iran seeks to calm tensions without siding with any country. 

“Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan should not allow others to interfere in the region and should not lay the groundwork for the presence of illegitimate powers in the region,” Noushabadi noted. 

Noushabadi is a member of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee. He said the committee recently held a meeting to discuss the tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

The lawmaker called on the two countries to resolve differences through dialogue, warning about the possible involvement of other countries in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. 

“Some countries, which are not present in the region, want to secure their interests by entering it. They also want to exploit this crisis to abuse ethic and racial bigotry to secure their interests. This issue requires the leaders of the two countries to be aware and settle disputes so that other countries fail to exploit the crisis,” Noushabadi pointed out. 

The war between Azerbaijan and Armenia broke out on September 27 when the troops of the two countries exchanged fire along the borders in Nagorno-Karabakh. They 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. 
On Saturday, the war reached a critical point as Armenian forces showered the Azerbaijani city of Ganja with missiles, killing a number of civilians in a city that is located outside the conflict zone. 

Iran has called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to end the war and resolve the differences at the negotiating table. 

“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 the clashes erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

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