Press TV – The spokesman for Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has once again reiterated the country’s stance on the importance of finding a peaceful solution to the dispute in the Karabakh region, which has been the scene of fresh deadly fighting between Armenian and Azeri forces over the past two days.
“We believe that these two neighboring countries should solve their disputes peacefully, and the Islamic Republic of Iran has always expressed its readiness to help settle this dispute [in the Karabakh region],” Abbas Mousavi said on Monday.
He added that Iran has made no change in its stance on the Karabakh dispute, underlining the need to respect all countries’ national sovereignty and territorial integrity and settle disputes through peaceful channels.
Exchanges of fire between Armenian and Azeri forces began on Sunday near Tavush in the rugged South Caucasus region, with each side accusing the other of encroaching on their territory.
The Azeri Defense Ministry said Monday that four of its soldiers had been killed and five wounded, while Armenia said two of its soldiers were injured on the second day of clashes on the border between the two countries.
Azerbaijan said Armenia’s “offensive” from Tovuz was met with a “counterstrike” and retreated.
Yerevan, on its part, accused Baku of “using artillery in an attack aimed at capturing [Armenian] positions.” Armenia’s Defense Minister David Tonoyan warned that Yerevan “will be reacting to Azerbaijani actions, including by taking advantageous positions” in their territory.
The two former Soviet republics have for decades been locked in a simmering conflict over Karabakh – an Azerbaijani territory seized by Armenian separatists in a bloody war in the 1990s.
Some 30,000 people were killed in the conflict, which ended with a fragile truce in 1994. The two sides are still technically at war and have yet to reach a permanent peace agreement on the issue.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku in March 2018, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined the need for respecting the territorial integrity of all countries, saying the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Karabakh must be settled through diplomacy.
“The territorial integrity of countries and the geography of the region should not be changed. We believe that the Karabakh issue must be solved through political means, and with the efforts of both Armenia and Azerbaijan, we should see more stability in the region,” Rouhani said.