Senior MP pays visit to Iran-Azerbaijan borders

October 6, 2020 - 0:16

TEHRAN – A senior Iranian lawmaker paid a visit to Iranian border territories near the conflict zone of Nagorno-Karabakh after several projectiles coming from the zone landed inside Iran.

“Since these two countries are neighbors of the Islamic Republic of Iran and there are a lot of contacts between the people of the two countries, the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee [of the Iranian Parliament] is monitoring this issue very closely. To this end, a number of the National Security Committee members have traveled to Azerbaijan’s border terminals on behalf of the Islamic Consultative Assembly,” Abolfazl Amouei, the spokesman for the committee, said on Monday.

Amouei, who was visiting border areas near Iran-Azerbaijan borders, said the committee has held a meeting on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and its impact on the Iranian areas bordering the conflict zone.

“The clashes of the past days [in Nagorno-Karabakh] has impacted our border areas. The people in these areas are worried. A delegation of the National Security Committee has visited this area,” Amouei was quoted by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) news agency as saying.

He said the delegation has visited a number of border counties and terminals while hearing the views of lawmakers representing these areas.

“During the visit, the sound of clashes could have been heard. Some rockets have landed inside some of our country’s territories and border towns, causing damage to some homes and farms,” Amouei explained.

He and the accompanying delegation also met with local officials in the northwestern province of Ardabil, including the members of the security council of the province.

“Important issues were discussed and it was agreed that the results of this meeting would be discussed in the Parliament’s National Security Committee,” the spokesman said.

The war between Azerbaijan and Armenia broke out on September 27 when the military forces of the two countries began exchanging fire along the contact line in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The warring countries heavily used rockets and mortar shells to target each other’s positions, whit Azerbaijani forces also using combat drones to target Armenian forces.

The two countries are fighting over a region that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by local Armenian forces who are backed by Armenia. Azerbaijan has said the war will end only after Armenia pulls out its forces from the disputed region or makes a firm and time-framed commitment to withdraw its forces from Nagorno-Karabakh. But Armenia keeps insisting on supporting the local Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh who established a self-declared republic in the 1990s. No countries have recognized the republic.

Iran urged many times both sides of the conflict to declare a ceasefire and start a dialogue to resolve differences.

Earlier this week, Amouei expressed Iran’s readiness to facilitate such a dialogue.

“We, as a mediator, are ready to facilitate talks between the two countries and establish a ceasefire between them,” said Amouei, adding, “The continuation of the killings and clashes not only does not solve the problem but also creates more disputes. This is why in the talks that our country’s officials held with their Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts the need to stop the clashes and start talks to resolve disputes was reiterated.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has also echoed the same position. He has called for an immediate ceasefire in the region while expressing readiness to help Azerbaijan and Armenia settle their dispute.
“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 Zarif on 27 September.

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