President Hassan Rouhani said Iran is ready to help Armenia and Azerbaijan settle their dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh region.
In a phone conversation with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday, President Rouhani stressed the need to end the ongoing conflict recently erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan as soon as possible, according to the president’s official website.
He noted that Tehran is ready for any move to resolve the dispute erupted between Baku and Yerevan in accordance with international law.
Since late September, heavy clashes have been underway between Azerbaijani and Armenian military forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Both sides blame each other for initiating the fighting in the Caucasus Mountains.
Expressing concern over the possible interference of other countries in the conflict and turning it into a regional war, Rouhani stressed that the security and stability in the region, especially Iran’s northern borders, are of great importance for Tehran.
He underlined that the conflict and continuation of insecurity at the borders should not pave the way for the influence of some terrorist groups in the region.
Rouhani also pointed to the security of Iran's borders and the need to protect the lives of residents of Iranian villages.
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami on Tuesday warned the warring parties involved in military clashes over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region that Tehran will take stronger measures than warnings if the shells fired in the fighting continue to hit the country’s border regions even by mistake.
“It is not acceptable at all that a bullet hits the Islamic Republic’s borders due to a mistake or carelessness,” Hatami said in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Tuesday.
Since the beginning of the Karabakh conflict some 10 days ago, Hatami said, the Iranian border areas have several times been shelled by mistake.
The defense chief said the lives of Iranian citizens and the country’s security are of vital importance, adding, “If this continues, broader measures will be adopted.”
Hatami expressed hope that all the parties to the conflict would heed the warnings.
The minister’s comments came after officials in the northwestern Iranian province of East Azarbaijan reported that mortar shells fired during the latest round of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan had hit border rural areas in Iran.