Iran warns against border changes amid Azerbaijan-Armenia flare-up

Iran on Wednesday called for keeping borders with Armenia unchanged amid the latest flare-up between Baku and Yerevan.


Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the call during a phone contact with his Azeri counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov.


According to a Foreign Ministry statement, the top Iranian diplomat said Tehran “lays emphasis” on the need to “preserve the territorial integrity” of all countries, including Azerbaijan and Armenia.


He said the border between Iran and Armenia must be preserved “without any change”, calling it a “historic connecting route”.


Tensions have flared again between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, two years after a deadly standoff killed thousands.


After a 44-day war, Azeri troops regained control over swathes of the disputed territory, which had been controlled since the 1990s by ethnic Armenians.


Although Karabakh was liberated from the Armenian occupation after almost three decades, Armenia continued to make territorial claims on the region.


Iran shares a 44-km border with Armenia that runs from the tripoint with Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan region in the west to the tripoint with Azerbaijan proper in the east.


Iran has traditionally maintained a neutral stance on the dispute between the two Caucasus neighbors, but following the 2020 war, Iranian officials supported Baku’s right over the disputed territory.


Amir-Abdollahian expressed “great concern” over a fresh escalation in the protracted conflict, announcing his country’s readiness to mediate between the two warring sides through political means.


He maintained that the region “cannot stand a new war,” urging the two sides to “show restraint.”


On Tuesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi spoke to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, calling for de-escalation in tensions between the two sides.


He said the region cannot cope with a new war, and urged the two countries to comply with the Russia-brokered cease-fire deal two years ago.


In a statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani also urged the two sides to “find a peaceful solution” in accordance with international law.


He echoed Amir-Abdollahian’s words that Iran will not accept any changes in borders with Armenia, adding that Tehran was “closely monitoring all the developments”.


Pertinently, relations between Iran and Azerbaijan have improved in the past one year, with Iran’s foreign minister in July saying Tehran and Baku had overcome “misunderstandings” and are on course to accelerate their bilateral relations.


Amir-Abdollahian at the time expressed Iran’s support to the “peaceful settlement” of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia based on the “principles of international law.”


Source: Anadolu Agency