Iran has prepared initiative to end war in Nagorno-Karabakh

October 5, 2020 - 17:39

TEHRAN – Iran has prepared an initiative to help resolve the conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, according to Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

“Iran has prepared a detailed plan, which will be pursued through making consultations with the two sides [of the conflict]. We hope that the two sides end the war, avoid targeting civilians, and know that Iran cannot tolerate clashes on its borders. We have carefully told our friends in both countries that they need to take the necessary care,” Khatibzadeh said in his weekly press conference on Monday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

He said Iran is in contact with all sides and pursues an “important mission.”

The spokesman pointed out, “Iran is one of the few players that enjoys good relations with the two warring sides and other regional players. From now on, Iran will have a special position and an important mission.”

Katibzadeh did not give any details about the Iranian plan but he implied that preventing encroachment on the Iranian territories may be part of this plan.

The spokesman said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran will by no means tolerate any violation against its borders and soil. To this end, Iran has prepared a plan and it hopes to move forward with it through making consultations with the two sides and with the help of other neighboring countries.”

Over the past few days, many rockets and mortar shells landed inside Iran’s territories on the borders with the conflict zone, causing damage to village homes and injuring at least two people. Iran has already warned the warring sides to prevent firing projectiles on Iranian border areas.

“Movements in the border areas of our country are being seriously and sensitively monitored…, and in this regard, while declaring any attack by any of the warring parties on our country is intolerable, we seriously warn all parties to seriously take care in this regard,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday after news media reports suggested that Iranian territories were under fire.

In His Monday press briefing, Khatibzadeh added, “We tried to be in mutual and continuous contact with both capitals. Due to our previous correct policies, we have equal access and we are in contact with regional players. We have prepared a plan and we hope that we would be able to end this war as soon as possible.”

According to the spokesman, Iran seeks to end the Nagorno-Karabakh war within the framework of preserving the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, withdrawal of military forces, and starting negotiations.

Clashes erupted between Azerbaijan and Armenia on September 27, killing and injuring dozens of both sides. The two countries are fighting over a breakaway that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by local Armenian forces who are backed by Armenia.

The breakaway of Nagorno-Karabakh has long been a source of conflict between Baku and Yerevan since the early years of the 1990s when the two sides fought a years-long war over the disputed region that led to the Armenian forces declaring independence from Azerbaijan and also occupying parts of Azerbaijani territories surrounding the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan has said the end of war is possible when Armenia retreats from the disputed region and apologizes to the Azerbaijani people. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said he has been receiving calls asking him what Azerbaijan’s condition is to agree to a ceasefire.

“My condition is the same – to leave our lands, to leave them, to stop the confrontation. Not in word but indeed. Let him say that he [Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan] recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, as stated in the fundamental principles. Let him say that he will withdraw his troops from the occupied territories, as stated in the fundamental principles. Let him say that he apologizes to the Azerbaijani people and say that Karabakh is not Armenia. The last condition is to give us a schedule for a withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories. Then, of course, we will restore the ceasefire” Aliyev said in an address to his people on Sunday, according to the Trend news agency.

Iran has called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to stop the war and start a dialogue to resolve differences.

“There is no military solution for this decades-long conflict. While respecting the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, we reiterate that a ceasefire must be declared to start massive political talks,” Katibzadeh noted.


SM/PA

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