Iran repudiates press reports on detention of Armenian soldiers 

May 23, 2021 - 19:54

TEHRAN - The Iranian embassy in Yerevan has responded to press reports claiming that dozens of Armenian soldiers have been detained in Iran. 

The embassy has said the rumors claiming that 160 Armenian soldiers are in Iran and the Iranian side has set preconditions for their repatriation are false and groundless, according to Public Radio of Armenia.

The statement came in response to a number of Armenian media outlets’ reports claiming the soldiers had crossed to the Iranian side during the 44-day war, which broke out last year on September 27 and lasted until November 10. The war resulted in Azerbaijan liberating large swathes of the territories that were under Armenian control. 

During the war, Iran refused to take sides and maintained a neutral position. It also voiced readiness to help the warring sides to settle their differences through dialogue and presented a peace initiative in that regard. 

In addition, Iran made it clear that it supports the territorial integrity of both Armenia and Azerbaijan. In mid-May, a senior Iranian lawmaker reiterated that position and warned against any change in the borders on the two countries. 

The lawmaker, Mojtaba Zolnouri, who serves as the head of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said Tehran has made it clear that it will not accept any change in international borders in the region.

“The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran is very clear, unequivocal, and decisive. We do not accept any change in the borders of the region. The territorial integrity of the countries in the region must be preserved. At the same time, we do not accept the deployment of any supra-regional forces near our borders,” Zolnouri told Russian state news, Sputnik.

“Therefore, if part of the territory of Armenia is to be taken and our border conditions change, that is, to have a new neighbor, it is not acceptable for us. The existing borders must be completely protected and the shared border of the Islamic Republic of Iran with Armenia must be maintained,” he continued.

The comments came after Armenia claimed that the Azerbaijani forces have advanced into its sovereign territory in Syunik province.

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