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Iranian Envoy Visits Armenia-Azerbaijan Border


Armenia - Iranian Ambassador Abbas Badakhshan Zohouri visits a section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in Gegharkunik province, August 3, 2021.

The Iranian ambassador to Armenia, Abbas Badakhshan Zohouri, visited on Tuesday a volatile section of the country’s border with Azerbaijan where deadly fighting erupted last week.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said Zohouri and the Iranian military attaché in Yerevan inspected a border section outside a village in Gegharkunik province after meeting with Major-General Arayik Harutiunian, the commander of an Armenian army corps stationed in the area.

Tensions there have run high since Azerbaijani forces reportedly advanced several kilometers into Gegharkunik in mid-May. They escalated on July 28 into heavy fighting that left three Armenian soldiers dead and four others wounded.

Yerevan and Baku reported more truce violations at this and another portion of the frontier in the following days. They blamed each other for the flare-up of violence which prompted serious concern from Russia, Western powers and Iran.

One of the photographs released by the Armenian Defense Ministry showed Zohouri looking through a binocular at nearby border posts.

A ministry statement said the Iranian diplomat expressed concern at the lingering tensions along the border and urged both sides to show restraint and resolve their disputes peacefully. He also said Iran is ready to contribute to a lasting peace in the region, according to the statement.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif toured the region in late May to discuss the tensions with Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s leaders.

“We have emphasized and continue to emphasize that internationally recognized borders and territorial integrity is our red line,” Zarif said in Yerevan.

Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami visited Yerevan two days before Zarif’s trip. Eslami expressed Tehran’s readiness to help Armenia upgrade its roads leading to Iran via Syunik province bordering the Islamic Republic as well as Azerbaijan.

Armenian troops deployed in Syunik have also been locked in a military standoff with the Azerbaijani side for nearly three months.

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