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Tehran Threatens ‘Tough’ Action Against Accidental Shelling Of Iranian Territory


RUSSIA -- Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami attends the annual Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in Moscow, Russia April 24, 2019

Iran reportedly threatened on Tuesday to take “tough measures” if Armenian and Azerbaijani forces continue to accidentally shell Iranian territory close to the scene of large-scale hostilities around Nagorno-Karabakh.

The southernmost section of the Karabakh “line of contact” adjacent to northwestern Iran is one of the epicenters of the fierce fighting that broke out on September 27. Several rockets and other projectiles from the fighting have mistakenly landed near Iranian villages over the past week, reportedly injuring at least one local resident and prompting stern warnings from Iran.

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said that the accidental shelling is continuing despite those warnings.

“The security of our borders is of vital significance to us,” Hatami was reported to say. “Any kind of attack is unacceptable to us, and if such actions are repeated we will switch from warnings to tougher measures.”

The Armenian Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday fresh fighting near the Iranian border marked by the Arax River. “The enemy ignores also the security of the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said a ministry spokeswoman.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani discussed the issue with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in a phone call on Tuesday.

Like other foreign powers, Iran has called for an immediate end to the hostilities. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that there can be no military solution to the Karabakh conflict.

Khatibzadeh also announced that Tehran has drawn up a plan to halt the fighting and ease tensions in the conflict zone. He did not elaborate.

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