“Regional security” was the main theme of the meeting, Mirzoyan said, adding that he briefed Amir-Abdollahian on recent Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks.
“We highly appreciate friendly Iran’s principled and clear position regarding the territorial integrity of Armenia as well as the Iranian side’s efforts to establish peace and stability in the region,” he told a joint news conference.
Mirzoyan clearly alluded to Iran’s stern warnings against Azerbaijan’s possible attempts to strip it of the common border and transport links with Armenia. Amir-Abdollahian reiterated that this is Tehran’s “red line.”
“During meetings with our country’s leader, the president of Azerbaijan [Ilham Aliyev] made clear that they … do not seek or plan to carry out any geopolitical and border changes in the region,” he said. “At the highest level, we have made warnings regarding geopolitical and border changes in the region.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has the capacity to impede and confront any such moves,” stressed the chief Iranian diplomat.
Aliyev has repeatedly demanded that Yerevan open a special land corridor connecting Azerbaijan to its Nakhichevan exclave through Syunik, the sole Armenian province bordering Iran. The Armenian government rejects these demands while expressing readiness to restore conventional transport links between the two South Caucasus states.
Mirzoyan reaffirmed that stance, saying that any “extraterritorial corridors” through Armenian territory are out of the question.
“As I said, the main requirement of the Armenian side is that the roads [to Nakhichevan] must be under our sovereignty and operate in accordance with our legislation,” he said. “Unfortunately, we are faced with Azerbaijan’s uncompromising position on this issue.”
“We can also see that other, third countries -- sometimes even unexpected third countries -- support the Azerbaijani interpretation of this road,” added Mirzoyan.
He did not specify which third countries apart from Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey are also demanding such a corridor.
Mirzoyan and Amir-Abdollahian are scheduled to attend on Friday the official opening of Iran’s consulate general in Syunik’s administrative center Kapan.
The Iranian government decided to open the consulate last December, underscoring its strong interest in Syunik. Iranian officials have backed full Armenian control of all transport links passing through the strategic region.