In comments on Sunday, Mohammad Javad Zarif noted Iran’s plan to establish peace in the Nagorno-Karabakh region is a move towards resolving the conflict between Armenia and the Azerbaijan Republic as well as the pullout of occupying forces from captured areas.
“Since the beginning of the Karabakh crisis, we have been holding consultations with the regional countries, including the Azerbaijan Republic and Armenia as well as Russia and Turkey,” he said.
“We believe that the regional countries bear the brunt of this war, and that these very countries can be most influential in ending the war in the region,” the top diplomat added.
“Accordingly, we held consultations to achieve that goal (ending the conflict) without trying to rival other mechanisms such as the [measures adopted by the] Minsk [Group],” Zarif said.
“Unfortunately, over the past thirty years, negotiations were a non-starter and tensions have always existed, tensions which led to our civilians and people on our borders to be threatened by both [warring] sides,” he added.
“Among the key points of our country’s initiative is that it does not concern a ceasefire only; rather, the plan is aimed at settling the conflict within a framework which becomes effective when both sides undertake to remain committed to a series of principles and remains in effect as more measures are adopted, including the withdrawal of occupying forces from all occupied areas,” the foreign minister said.
Among other highlights of Iran’s plan, he added, are that it guarantees people’s rights, establishes connection routes, sees regional countries monitor the trend of the implementation of the initiative and issues as such.
“We are waiting for Azerbaijani and Armenia authorities as well as our Russian and Turkish friends to express their views on this plan,” he said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif touched upon the presence of terrorist forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“We did emphasize that such a move will be in the interests of no one. During and before the talks, we reminded officials of the Azerbaijan Republic and Armenia as well as Russia and Turkey that Iran will not tolerate such a thing,” the top Iranian diplomat said.