Iran Calls for Restraint As Tensions Rise between Azerbaijan and Armenia

Tasnim News – Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the country is closely following developments along the Azerbaijan-Armenia borders, stressing the need for peaceful settlement of disputes between the two neighboring countries.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is closely and sensitively following the developments of the past few days along the borders of the two neighboring countries, Armenia and Azerbaijan Republic,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Friday.

“Iran hopes that the dispute would be settled as soon as possible with the two sides’ prudence and through peaceful ways,” the spokesman noted.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran underlines the necessity of maintaining stability and calm in the region, and calls on both sides to show restraint, avoid fueling the disagreements, and respect the two countries’ borders,’ he added.

He also expressed Iran’s preparedness to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the two countries’ differences including the recent dispute.

Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia are simmering again after they fought a war last year over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused Azerbaijani troops on Thursday of encroaching on Armenian territory, claiming that Azerbaijani forces advanced 3 kilometers into southern Armenia in an act of “infiltration”.

“It is an encroachment on the sovereign territory of Armenia. This is an act of subversive infiltration,” Pashinyan said, adding Armenia’s soldiers had responded with an “appropriate tactical maneuver”.

Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry rejected Pashinyan’s provocative claims, saying Armenia’s border troops were “taking positions that belong to Azerbaijan” in the Lachin and Kalbajar districts.

“Azerbaijan is committed to defusing the tensions in the region and urges to take steps in that direction,” it added.

Azerbaijani and Armenian military forces engaged in heavy clashes in late September over the disputed Karabakh region. Both sides blamed each other for initiating the fighting in the Caucasus Mountains.

It was the worst spate of fighting between the two former Soviet republics since the 1990s.

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