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Iran Offers To Ease Armenian-Azeri Tensions


Russia-- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a news conference following a meeting with his Russian counterpart in Moscow, June 16, 2020

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif telephoned his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts on Tuesday to discuss the latest ceasefire violations on the border between Iran’s two South Caucasus neighbors.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA said Zarif urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to “exercise restraint” and restart talks on a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He also expressed Iran’s readiness to help defuse tensions between the conflicting parties.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry made a similar statement earlier in the day.

“We believe these two neighboring countries should resolve their difference peacefully, and the Islamic Republic of Iran has always announced its readiness to help settle this row,” a ministry spokesman said, according to another Iranian news agency, ISNA.

During the separate phone conversations, Foreign Ministers Zohrab Mnatsakanian of Armenia and Elmar Mammadyarov of Azerbaijan briefed Zarif on the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Each conflicting side again blamed the other for heavy fighting that broke out there on Sunday.

According to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, Zarif told Mammadyarov that Tehran stands ready to facilitate a Karabakh settlement.

International efforts to end the conflict have long been spearheaded by the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe co-headed by the United States, Russia and France.

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