Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has embarked on a tour to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia to present Tehran’s initiative aimed at settling ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Yerevan and Baku.
Before leaving for the three countries, the Iranian official visited areas bordering the disputed region, where a number of stray shells and projectiles from the Nagorno-Karabakh region have crossed the Iranian border, prompting warnings from Tehran, IRNA reported.
In the first week of the fighting, mortar rounds strayed across the border, with one wounding a six-year-old child.
Araqchi warned the warring parties in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to prevent any harm to the security of Iran’s border areas.
“The security of border regions, dams, and constructions is highly significant for the Islamic Republic of Iran and is a redline,” Araqchi told reporters in northwestern city of Pars Abad in Ardebil Province.
Ground Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has deployed a mechanized brigade to protect the country’s northwestern border amid ongoing firefight, Press TV reported.
The location of the deployment was identified as the areas running along the border in the Khoda Afarin and Jolfa counties.
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.
It has been the worst spate of fighting between the two former Soviet republics since the 1990s.
Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh is mainly inhabited by ethnic Armenians. Though a ceasefire was agreed in 1994, Baku and Yerevan continue to accuse each other of shooting attacks around the enclave.