Monday, June 24, 2024

Iran says is in contact with Armenia, Azerbaijan to ease tensions in Caucasus

Spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Nasser Kanaani has stated that Tehran is closely monitoring the situation in the Caucasus and stays in contact with Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan to ensure peace and security.

Asked about the possibility of a flare-up of tensions between Baku and Yerevan, Kanaani said at a press conference on Monday that Iran is in contact with the officials of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

“The Armenian officials voiced concern about the possibility of (military) clashes, but the Azerbaijani officials gave a message that they have no intention of clashing (with Armenia),” he added, describing the Republic of Azerbaijan’s recent deployment of troops as a “conventional military action” ahead of winter.

“Iran is seriously monitoring the developments. We’d give an assurance that Iran’s borders are safe and we support the security of boundaries,” Kanaani underlined.

He noted that Iran has unchanging and transparent stances on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Iran’s stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has been announced explicitly several times, is not secret. Nagorno-Karabakh is part of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the rights and security of its residents must be defined within a definite framework,” he underscored.

Reiterating Iran’s call for respect for the territorial integrity of states and avoidance of tensions, Kanaani said a major step in resolving disputes between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan and achieving peace and security is for the two countries to mutually recognize each other’s territorial integrities.

Commenting on assassination threats made by the chief of the Israeli Mossad spy agency against Iranian officials, Kanaani stated such remarks prove that Israel is a “fake, usurping regime that is based on terrorism” and is pursuing terrorist acts to achieve its “illegitimate” interests.

The spokesman vowed that Iran will respond to “any foolish action”, noting that Tehran has proved its ability to ensure its security and has dealt the Israeli regime heavy blows many times.

The Iranian diplomat also cautioned that Iraq’s ultimatum to disarm Kurdish separatist groups will not be extended.

“Iran’s stance is completely clear. According to the agreement reached with the Iraqi government, the final deadline for the disarmament of the terrorist and separatist forces in Iraq’s Kurdistan region ends on September 19 and that deadline will not be extended in any way.”

He noted that the Iraqi government has taken measures in this regard, and has stressed that it will honor its commitments.

Asked about a Reuters’ report that said the transfer of Iranian funds which were blocked in South Korea under the pretext of US sanctions to banks in Qatar will take place as early as this week, Kanaani expressed the country’s hope that “the transfer will be completed in the upcoming days and that the Islamic Republic will gain full access to its assets.”

Iran, under the reached agreement, can use its unblocked funds “to buy unsanctioned goods”, he stressed.

The spokesman also reiterated that the release of the funds has nothing to do with the prisoner exchange agreement with the United States.

“Considering the humanitarian nature of the issue, we are ready to implement the prisoner swap deal,” he said, adding that it could have taken place long ago if the American side had cooperated and had not linked it to other issues such as the nuclear deal, which the US unilaterally abandoned in May 2018 despite Iran’s full and strict compliance.

“We are optimistic that the exchange of prisoners will take place in the near future based on the reached agreement.”

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