By Payman Yazdani

New mechanism necessary to settle tensions in Karabakh

September 30, 2020 - 17:35

TEHRAN– Due to the unwillingness or failure of the OSCE Minsk Group to settle conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan, forming a new mediation group by the countries' neighbors including Iran, Turkey, and Russia is necessary.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed territory, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but mostly governed by Armenia. The Republic of Azerbaijan has not exercised political authority over the region since 1988. Since the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994, representatives of the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group on the region's disputed status.

Once again the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia have resumed military conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region due to the failure of mediation efforts, increased militarization, and frequent ceasefire violations.

Following the start of the tensions between the two sides over Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday, Iranian FM Zarif spoke in detail with the foreign ministers of both Azerbaijan and Armenia under the framework of active diplomacy and announced Iran's readiness to use all its capacities to put an end into this conflict.

"Nothing good has happened and the atmosphere in the region has no longer the capacity for violence. We said that the sooner the talks start, the better and that declaring a ceasefire is the only solution," he said. Iran believes that the issue has no military solution, he added. 

Considering the facts on the ground and the failure of the mediation mechanism initiated by transregional powers, the following points are noteworthy: 

-Thirty years of conflict and hostility have not brought positive achievements for both sides and there is no solution to this old crisis other than negotiation and agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia. For sure, the continuation of the war will not only resolve the dispute, but it will also lead to further deterioration of the situation.

-This region has become a hotbed of conflict and militarization of foreign actors, and as such, the interests of the people of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been trampled upon by these foreign rivalries.

-The OSCE Minsk Group (USA, Russia, France) has not been able or willing to resolve this conflict for three decades, proving its inefficiency, and as such, there is no need for the group to keep playing a central role in managing the crisis.

-Some news indicates that under the direction of some foreign intelligence services and with the aim of destabilizing the Nagorno-Karabakh region, a plan to deploy foreign terrorists to the region is being pursued, the main purpose of which, given the reduction of clashes in Syria, seems to be the relocation of the conflict zone to this region.

-The Zionist regime has the most active role in causing and escalating this conflict with the aim of destabilizing the areas near the Iranian borders by creating a fabricated and targeted rivalry between Azerbaijan and Armenia in a bid to incite them to buy weapons from and grow closer to this fake regime. To this end the Zionist affiliated media in recent days, have been widely circulating fake and targeted news, along with images related to the transit of trucks from Russia to Armenia via Iran on the internet, aimed at provoking Azeri-speaking Iranians by falsely indicating that Iran is assisting Armenia in this conflict. 

-It is necessary to form a mediation mechanism for the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and negotiations and to actively pursue it in a 3 + 3 composition (including Iran, Russia, and Turkey as the three neighbors of the Caucasus with the three Caucasus countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia).