News ID: 275965
Published: 0421 GMT October 26, 2020

IRGC commander visits Iran’s border near disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region

IRGC commander visits Iran’s border near disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region
IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) visited Iran’s northwestern border areas near a battlefield where Azerbaijani and Armenian forces have been fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in recent weeks.

The visit by Major General Hossein Salami came a day after the IRGC deployed military units to protect the countrys northwestern border amid ongoing firefight between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

After monitoring the latest developments in the region, Major General Salami issued the necessary orders to step up security at the border areas, Tasnim News Agency reported.

On Sunday, IRGC Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said units of the IRGC Ground Force have been stationed in the region.

Their mission is "to protect national interests and maintain peace and security".

Pakpour said more units may be deployed to the northwestern border areas.

Pakpour said Iran respects its neighborsterritorial integrity but that "any shift in border geopolitics is the Islamic Republic of Iran's redline".

The commander visited the border county of Khoda Afarin on Saturday. He said even though some of the projectiles had landed on the Iranian soil during the firefight, security prevails over [our] borders, and no danger threatens the country.”

The region in Iran's East Azarbaijan Province borders territory in Azerbaijan adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Khoda Afarin and nearby villages have been hit by stray cross-border mortar fire.

Earlier on October 16, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh had warned that If there is any repetition of such fire, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not remain indifferent".

Irans Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami has also said Tehran would respond beyond only warnings if the security of Irans border regions were endangered.

In the first week of the fighting, mortar rounds strayed across the border, with one wounding a six-year-old child.

Speaking in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev reassured Iran that his country had completely cleaned” the border area.

There will be no more inconvenience for our brothers across river of Aras in Iran,” he added.

As far as I know, Iranian leaders also talk to [the] Armenian side. Because the clashes were taking place just by the river Aras, close to the border with Iran, and by accident, some of the weapons crossed the border,” Aliyev said.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked for decades in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnically Armenian area of Azerbaijan which broke away from Baku in a 1990s war.


AFP and Press TV contributed to this story.


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