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Raeisi says Iran opposed to any geopolitical changes in Caucasus region


The photo shows a meeting between Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) and Secretary of Armeniaís Supreme National Security Council Armen Grigoryan in Tehran on October 4, 2023. (Photo by president.ir)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has doubled down on Iranís opposition to the opening of the Zangezur Corridor in the Caucasus region, saying Tehran is against any geopolitical changes in the region.

Raeisi made the remarks in separate meetings with Armen Grigoryan, secretary of the Security Council of Armenia, and Khalaf Khalafov, special representative of Azerbaijanís president, in Tehran on Wednesday, amid persisting tensions over the Negro-Karabakh region.

Azerbaijan took full control of the breakaway region last month following a 24-hour military operation against pro-Armenian forces.

Now speculation is rife that Azerbaijan might use force to open a corridor connecting the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to mainland Azerbaijan through the southern Armenian province of Syunik.

Armenia opposes the plan on the grounds that it would violate its sovereignty. Iran has supported Armeniaís position, stressing that the territorial integrity of countries must be respected.

Raeisi argued the Zangezur Corridor allows external powers to make inroads into the region and undermine interests of nations there.

"In both meetings, the president stated that a Zangezur corridor would be a NATO foothold, a national security threat for countries, and is thus resolutely opposed by Iran," said Mohammad Jamshidi, the Iranian presidentís deputy chief of staff for political affairs, in a post on X social media network, formerly known as Twitter.

Iran ready to help settle dispute

A readout by the website of the presidential office said Raeisi also told the two officials that Iran believes the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia must be resolved through talks.

He said Iran is ready to help pave the way for the settlement of disputes between the two countries and promote peace in the region.

Armen Grigoryan, the secretary of Armeniaís Supreme National Security Council, hailed Iranís call for respecting the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries in the region, and said his country attaches special importance to its relations with Iran.

Khalaf Khalafov, the representative of Azerbaijanís president on special assignments, said Baku believes problems in the region must be settled through cooperation and dialogue between regional countries, and that other countries should not be allowed to make inroads into the region.

Negro-Karabakh, acknowledged as a part of Azerbaijan by the international community but populated by Armenians since 1992 when a separatist war broke out, has been the source of a dispute between Baku and Yerevan for more than three decades.

After Azerbaijan eventually took back the region, most of ethnic Armenians living there have left.

Iran has urged Azerbaijan to respect the rights of Armenians living in the Negro-Karabakh region.

Armenia recently held a 10-day joint military exercise with the US dubbed "Eagle Partner 2023", which included 85 American soldiers and 175 Armenians.

Iran criticized the drills as unhelpful and said they further complicate the situation in the region.

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/27474


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