Tehran urges Armenia to respect Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity

October 6, 2020 - 23:33

TEHRAN – Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei on Tuesday called on Armenia to evacuate the occupied areas of Azerbaijan and respect the neighboring country’s territorial integrity.

“Our principal stance on the dispute between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia has been stated unequivocally,” Rabiei said at a press conference. “We underline the protection of the Republic of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and respect toward the United Nations Charter and international law.” 

He said Iran is seeking peace and dialogue in the region, warning against interference by other countries in the dispute between the two countries, IRNA reported.

The spokesman also expressed concern over a number of mortar shells that accidentally hit Iran, saying, “We are deeply concerned about the lives and properties of our citizens in the border areas.”

“In case of recurrence of these incidents, we’ll consider all available options and will not be indifferent to it,” he added.

Interior minister warns Azerbaijan, Armenia over mortar shells landing in Iran

A day earlier, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli warned neighbors Azerbaijan and Armenia, who are involved in deadly clashes, that Iran will not tolerate insecurity at its borders.

“We have advised and warned the neighboring states that we will not tolerate insecurity, interference, or any other measure damaging the security of our people in those regions,” Rahmani-Fazli told reporters, according to Tasnim.

He expressed hope that the two warring countries would observe international law that includes respect to national sovereignty and rights of all countries, saying Iran is monitoring the border areas carefully.

Pointing to the mortar shells that hit Iran, the minister said Tehran will give stronger warnings to the warring sides if such incidents occur again.

Clashes erupted between Azerbaijan and Armenia on September 27, which led to the killing and injury of dozens on 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. President Ilham Aliyev has said he has been receiving calls asking him what Azerbaijan’s condition is to agree to a ceasefire.

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

“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,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Katibzadeh said on Monday.

Over the past few days, a number of rockets and mortar shells landed inside Iran on the borders with the conflict zone, causing damage to village homes and injuring at least two people. 

“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,” Khatibzadeh said.

“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,” he added.


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