New chapter: Iran inaugurates consulate in Kapan, Armenia

October 22, 2022 - 0:38

TEHRAN— During his important trip to Armenia, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian inaugurated Iran’s new consulate general in Kapan.

During the inauguration of the consulate general in Syunik Province, Amir Abdollahian said he is confident that the diplomats present at Iran’s mission in Kapan will have the full support of the friendly government of the Republic of Armenia.

He then expressed Iran’s readiness to cooperate with Armenia to open Yerevan’s consulate general in the city of Tabriz. 

“The decision of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to establish a consulate general in Kapan shows the depth of the long-standing and historical relations between the people of Armenia and Iran,” Iran’s top diplomat noted. 

He then stated that Iran considers the security of Armenia as “the security of the region.” 

The foreign minister added, “Our policy is to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Armenia.” 

Amir Abdollahian then expressed hope that with the activities of Iranian diplomats at the Iranian embassy in Yerevan and at the Iranian consulate in Kapan, trade and economic cooperation between the two countries would increase.

“Syunik province is one of the main transit corridors from north to south. We consider Armenia as one of the important routes in the North-South corridor,” Iran’s top diplomat noted.

He added that Tehran will have maximum cooperation with the Armenian government to strengthen this transit route and expand it and speed up the movement of truckers and passengers on this route.

Concluding his speech, foreign minister said, “Long live Armenia, long Live Iran, long live the friendship of the two countries.”
This clearly shows Armenia’s importance for Iran. 

During the 44-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Iran supported Azerbaijan, which led to the liberation of Azerbaijan’s occupied lands. However, what Baku must note is that Tehran’s support will not remain exclusive. 

The inauguration of the consulate general comes as Iran kicked off military exercises in northwest on Monday, in which it practiced how to bridge the Aras River on the border with the Republic of Azerbaijan. 

The drills, codenamed “Mighty Iran,” began with the participation of several IRGC units at the presence of senior IRGC officials, including the commander-in-chief of the military force, General Hossein Salami. 

“Long live Armenia, long Live Iran, long live the friendship of the two countries.”During the exercises, the IRGC Ground Forces practiced how to set up pontoon bridges and cross the Aras River on the border with the Republic of Azerbaijan.

IRGC Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour unveiled plans for heliborne and parachute jump operations, nocturnal strikes, missions involving combat helicopters as well as combat and suicide drones, and seizing the routes and heights controlled by the hypothetical enemy, Tasnim News reported.

During this drill, General Salami noted, “We have interests in this region and if a change happens in a corner of the region and our interests are endangered, then we are not neutral anymore and we defend our national interests. We defend our security and this is a principle for us and our red line is that nothing (in the borders) changes. Everything should be based on the recognition of the sovereignty of countries.”

Similarly, General Ali Akbar Pourjamshidian, the deputy coordinator of the IRGC Ground Forces issued a stark warning to the Republic of Azerbaijan on Friday, stating, “Changing the borders is very important. Azerbaijan achieved what it was looking for and Nagorno-Karabakh was liberated, and we also congratulated it. Nonetheless, if there is an aggression and our borders are changed and our thousands-year old-routes connecting Iran to Europe are damaged, we will be sensitive and we will confront it.”

On Sunday, Azerbaijan’ ministry of defense said the country’s forces along the border with Armenia came under fire and took “adequate retaliatory measures.”

Armenia denied it fired at Azerbaijani forces. “Units of the Armenian Armed Forces did not open fire in the direction of the Azerbaijani positions, and the daily dissemination of such misinformation by the ministry of defense of Azerbaijan is nothing but an attempt to artificially create tension on the border,” a spokesperson for the Armenian defense ministry said in a statement. 

The reoccurrence of border clashes between Baku and Yerevan has long been a source of concern for Iran given Azerbaijan’s overt plans to establish the so-called Zangezur corridor, which, if materialized, would cut Iran’s land border with Armenia.

In a meeting with the Azerbaijani president in Astana on the sidelines of the CICA summit on October 13, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia should be respected, stressing, “From the point of view of the Islamic Republic of Iran, any change in the historical and geopolitical borders of the region and any change in the transit status of Iran and Armenia are rejected.”

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