Iran has its own considerations and views about a peacekeeping force that could be deployed in the Karabakh conflict zone, according to the Islamic Republic’s chief diplomat in Armenia.
Ambassador Seyed Ali Saghaeyan told a press conference in Yerevan on Friday that “Iran shares a common border with Karabakh and therefore we surely have our own considerations and views about the composition of a peacekeeping force that might be deployed in the conflict zone.”
The ambassador did not specify, however, the country whose participation in such a peacekeeping operation would be unacceptable for Iran. Nor did the Iranian ambassador specify what he meant by saying that Iran and Karabakh “share a common border.” Saghaeyan was speaking in Persian through his official interpreter.
Iran borders on three districts of Azerbaijan outside the territory of de-facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh proper. The districts of Jebrail, Fizuli and Zangelan to the south of Nagorno-Karabakh’s former administrative border have been controlled by the Karabakh Armenian military since 1994 when a truce was signed between the parties to the three-year-long armed conflict.
An unspecified peacekeeping operation as part of international security guarantees is incorporated in the set of basic principles of Karabakh conflict settlement proposed by international mediators. Armenia and Azerbaijan at present consider whether they assume these principles as a basis for further talks to hammer out a framework peace agreement.
Speaking about the current Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks over Nagorno-Karabakh, Ambassador Saghaeyan said that Iran wants to see tensions relieved and disputes settled in the region, which, he said, would “meet the interests of all peoples of the region.”
The Iranian diplomat said Tehran has sought “to promote peace from the very onset of the Karabakh conflict” and reminded that two ceasefires in the conflict were established thanks to Iranian mediation.
Iran, according to its ambassador, hails any international initiative aimed at achieving a settlement, including the negotiating process in the format of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group.
At the press conference, the Iranian ambassador also expressed his country’s support for the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border.