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Iranian Envoy Briefed On Karabakh Escalation


Armenia - Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian (L) meets with Iranian Ambassador Seyyed Kazem Sajjad (R) in Yerevan, 4May2016.

Armenia - Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian (L) meets with Iranian Ambassador Seyyed Kazem Sajjad (R) in Yerevan, 4May2016.

Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Iran’s ambassador to Armenia on Wednesday one week after holding talks with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehqan in Moscow.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said Ohanian briefed the diplomat, Seyyed Kazem Sajjad, on his “agreements” reached with Dehqan and “expressed confidence that they will be put into practice soon.” It did not elaborate.

A ministry statement said Ohanian also spoke about Azerbaijan’s actions in recent days that risk “provoking new hostilities” along the Line of Contact around Karabakh. Ohanian’s first deputy Davit Tonoyan and the Iranian military attaché in Yerevan were also present at the meeting.

“Ambassador Seyyed Kazem Sajjad voiced his concerns regarding the existing situation and expressed readiness to make every effort to help maintain peace and stability,” added the statement. “The Iranian ambassador also stressed, among other things, the importance of deepening bilateral cooperation in the area of defense.”

The Armenian and Iranian defense ministers met on April 27 on the sidelines of an international security conference held in Moscow.

Dehqan phoned Ohanian and Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov on April 3, the day after the outbreak of heavy fighting on the Karabakh frontlines. He urged an immediate end to the hostilities, saying that they are a “source of deep concern” for the Islamic Republic.

A frontline section adjacent to Iran was one of the two epicenters of the fighting, which largely stopped on April 5 following a Russian-brokered agreement reached by Armenian and Azerbaijani army chiefs.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani held separate phone talks with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts on April 6.

Ohanian did not rule out the possibility of renewed hostilities when he spoke to journalists later in the day. “Any developments can occur at any moment,” he said after meeting with Armenian lawmakers behind the closed doors. “The Armenian military is adequately accomplishing its tasks. It is prepared to carry out defensive and other tasks.”

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