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    23-Mar-2023

Iran Urges Armenia, Azerbaijan to Avoid Escalation through ‘Dialogue’

 

 

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri-Kani called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to avoid renewed tensions and achieve stability through dialogue, pledging that Tehran would use its full potential to solve regional issues through peaceful talks.
 
 
During a press conference in Yerevan, Bagheri-Kani said that broadening relations with neighboring countries is Iran's topmost priority in its foreign policy, and Armenia is Iran's important neighbor.
 
 
Bagheri-Kani held talks with his Armenian counterpart and the Armenian foreign minister.
 
 
Armenpress reported that the Iranian official asserted that Iran is always a reliable partner in establishing peace and security, adding that the regional countries themselves are the guarantors of peace and stability.
 
 
He asserted that foreign forces couldn't ensure stability and peace because these forces pursued other goals.
 
 
Asked about the possible renewed tension in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Bagheri-Kani said that diplomacy was created to achieve stability through peaceful dialogue.
 
 
"I assume that the leaders of the regional countries are wise enough to choose dialogue for resolving issues. Iran will use its full capacity and potential to solve the issues through peaceful dialogue,” Bagheri-Kani said.
 
 
Media activists close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that Iranian fighter jets flew over the borders of Iran and Azerbaijan on Tuesday, speaking of the readiness of the Iranian military sectors stationed near the border.
 
 
- Military action
 
 
Al-Quds Force channel on Telegram stated that the Iranian army's second, third, fourth, and fifth air bases are on high alert following the heavy logistical movement of the Baku army and the possibility of an imminent attack on Armenia.
 
 
On Saturday, Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador in protest against the flight of an Iranian military plane near the borders of the two countries.
 
 
The Foreign Ministry said in a joint statement with the Ministry of Defense that an Iranian military aircraft flew between the two countries 3-5 km from the state border.
 
 
"We strongly condemn the Iranian side for such a provocative step, urge them to provide an appropriate explanation, and refrain from such confrontational steps in the future," read the statement.
 
 
Tensions remain high between Azerbaijan and Iran as Azerbaijan and Armenia fight over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
 
 
Last October, Iran launched military maneuvers near the border with Azerbaijan. Baku also maintained close relations with Israel, sparking outrage in Tehran.
 
 
Azerbaijan also bought Israeli-made drones for its army.
 
 
- Blinken offers mediation
 
 
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense published a video accusing the Armenian forces of moving sectors where Russian peacekeepers are stationed in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
 
 
Azerbaijani media said that Baku repeatedly informed the international community about transferring military equipment.
 
 
Meanwhile, US Secretary Antony Blinken called Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev to offer continued US assistance in facilitating bilateral peace discussions with Armenia.
 
 
Blinken encouraged finding solutions to outstanding issues, stressing that there was no military solution.
 
 
The Secretary reaffirmed the importance of reopening the Lachin corridor to commercial and private vehicles, adding that the US looked forward to continued cooperation with Azerbaijan on the peace process.
 
 
On March 14, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan warned of a "high possibility of an escalation" at the border with Azerbaijan and Nagorno, noting that he had complained to Russian President Putin about problems with the Russian peacekeeping force.
 
 
 

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