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No War Will Break out in Region: Iran Defense Minister on Azerbaijan-Armenia Row

Wednesday 13 September 2023
No War Will Break out in Region: Iran Defense Minister on Azerbaijan-Armenia Row

Alwaght- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani has ruled out the possibility of a new round of fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Ashtiani stated that “no war will break out in the Caucasus region.”

He underscored Iran’s “clear and transparent” position concerning the geopolitics of the Caucasus, saying, “We won’t approve of any change in regional geopolitics.”

“We are keeping a close watch on the unfolding developments; they do not indicate that a dramatic incident is in the offing.”

On Monday, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Tehran is closely monitoring the situation in the Caucasus region and stays in contact with Yerevan and Baku to ensure peace and security.

“Armenian officials have voiced concern about the possibility of (military) clashes. Azerbaijani authorities, however, sent a message that they have no intention of engagement in a confrontation (with Armenia),” Nasser Kan’ani noted.

He went on to describe the Republic of Azerbaijan’s recent deployment of troops as a “conventional military action” ahead of winter.

“Iran is seriously monitoring the developments. We’d give an assurance that Iran’s borders are safe and we support the security of boundaries,” Kan’ani underlined.  

He also noted that Iran has unchanging and transparent stances on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Located in the South Caucasus, the landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh has been at the center of a dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia for more than three decades.

Since gaining independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, the two neighboring countries have fought two wars, in 1994 and 2020, over the mountainous territory.

Karabakh, while acknowledged as a part of Azerbaijan by the international community, has a predominantly Armenian population that has persistently opposed Azerbaijani governance since a separatist war in 1994.

Tensions remain high and skirmishes along the shared border are a regular occurrence despite mediation efforts by the European Union, the United States and Russia.

Russia brokered a peace deal between the two sides in November 2020 bringing an end to a 44-day war in the region. It has since deployed about 2,000 troops to the region to serve as peacekeepers.

 

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Iran Foreign Minister Armenia Azerbaijan

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