Friday 15 September 2023 - 06:24

Iran Denies Military Build-up at Iran-Azerbaijan Border

Story Code : 1081720
Iran Denies Military Build-up at Iran-Azerbaijan Border
Baqeri made the remarks in a phone conversation with Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov on Wednesday.

The phone call came as Armenia has warned that Azerbaijan is massing troops on the countries' shared border and near Nagorno-Karabakh, raising fears it could launch a military operation to grab some areas there.

In recent months, Armenia and Azerbaijan have traded accusations of cross-border attacks.

During the phone conversation, General Baqeri reiterated Iran’s policy that the Nagorno-Karabakh region belongs to Azerbaijan, and stressed the country’s readiness to help facilitate a final settlement of the long-running dispute over the region.

According to a statement by the General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, the two sides reaffirmed their opposition to interventions by extra-regional powers in the affairs of the Caucuses region.

Hasanov, for his part, said Azerbaijan respects other countries’ sovereignty and does not seek to encroach on its neighbors’ territories.

The Azerbaijani minister proposed holding joint drills between the two countries, and invited General Baqeri to pay a visit to Azerbaijan.

Located in the South Caucasus, the landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh has been at the center of a dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia for more than three decades.

Since gaining independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, the two neighboring countries have fought two wars, in 1994 and 2020, over the mountainous territory.

Karabakh is recognized as part of Azerbaijan by the international community although it has a predominantly Armenian population that has opposed Azerbaijani governance since the separatist war in 1994.

Tensions remain high and skirmishes along the shared border are a regular occurrence despite mediation efforts by the European Union, the United States and Russia.