Sunday, December 10, 2023

Any geopolitical change in Caucasus harmful to region: Iran president

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has reiterated Tehran’s opposition to the presence of foreigners in the Caucasus. He also described as “unacceptable” any geopolitical change in the region, which he said would be harmful to the interests of the regional countries.

Raisi on Wednesday hosted officials from the Azerbaijan Republic and Armenia for talks over the ongoing developments in the Caucasus region. The meetings took place as Azerbaijan and Armenia are seeking to reach peace to end their decades-long dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

During the meeting with Secretary of Armenia’s Security Council Armen Valerii Grigoryan, President Raisi stressed the importance of respecting the territorial integrity of the countries in the Caucasus, and announced Iran’s readiness to cooperate on improving peace and security in that region.

Raisi also rejected any geopolitical change in the Caucasus, calling it harmful to the interests of the regional countries.

He stressed the need for protecting the rights of the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, and announced Iran’s readiness to help Azerbaijan and Armenia resolve their standoff through dialog.

The Iranian president made similar comments during talks with Khalaf Aly Oghlu Khalafov, the special representative of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Raisi stated that protecting and improving stability in the Caucasus depends on the cooperation of regional countries which he said are capable of resolving regional issues.

He added the presence of extra-regional countries under any excuse does not benefit regional nations, and that the region’s geopolitics should remain unchanged.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani officials each expressed their gratitude to the Islamic Republic over its stance on regional issues. They also announced their countries’ interest to expand relations with Iran.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian Vice-President for Political Affairs Mohammad Jamshidi wrote on X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, that President Raisi had held meetings with Armenia’s national security advisor and Azerbaijan’s special presidential envoy, announcing the Islamic Republic’s resolute opposition to the opening of the Zangezur Corridor in the Caucasus region.

“Armenia National Security Advisor and Azerbaijan Special Presidential Envoy presented reports to Dr. Raisi. In both meetings, the President stated a Zangezur Corridor would be a NATO foothold, a national security threat for countries, and is thus resolutely opposed by Iran,” Jamshidi said in his post.

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