Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that his country is ready to mediate between Azerbaijan and Armenia on the Nagorno-Karbakh region under international law. On Tuesday, he called Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev to give information about the preparations for Tehran. Iran’s official news agency Paras Today reported.
The Nagorno-Karbakh region is internationally recognized as the territory of Azerbaijan, but is controlled by Armenian separatists under the aegis of the Armenian government. The conflict between the two countries has started in the region from 27 September. About 300 people were killed in the ten-day conflict.
If the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan intensifies, regional powers are expected to join. Armenia is a member of the former Soviet Union military alliance led by Russia. Turkey, which has a conflicting relationship with Armenia, is a close ally of Azerbaijan. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed support for Azerbaijan. Iran is the neighbor of both countries involved in the conflict. During the ongoing conflict, several mortar shells fired by both countries landed on Iranian territory.
In a phone call to mediate, Iranian President Rouhani expressed fears of outside interference in the disputed territory. He said that if such a situation arises, this conflict can turn into a regional war.
Highlighting Iran’s concerns, he said that regional peace, security and stability, particularly the security of Iran’s northern border, are of paramount importance to Tehran.
Hasan Rouhani said that if the ongoing conflict is not brought to an end, the fighting will spread to nearby cities and there is a danger of a major refugee crisis.
Ilham Aliyev said that he was pleased to receive a call from President Rouhani, and thanked Tehran for protecting the geographical integrity of Azerbaijan. Supporting President Rouhani’s concerns about security along Iran’s border, President Aliyev said he would try to prevent neighboring countries from being harmed by the ongoing conflict in Karbakh.
Earlier on Monday, Iran rejected a call for a cease-fire by Russia and the West, but Iran presented plans to end fierce clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karbakh. Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzade said the plan was to end the conflict as soon as possible.
Khatibzade said that Iran is a party with which both Azerbaijan and Armenia have good relations. Iran has good relations not only with the two conflicting countries but also with other regional parties.