Iranian Ambassador to Baku Mohsen Pakayeen stressed the country’s interest in the further expansion of ties with Azerbaijan, and voiced Tehran’s readiness to help resolve the territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“In the past years, the Karabakh dispute has cast a shadow on the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia and due to the fact that a part of our bordering areas are entangled in insecurities as a result of this dispute, we are willing to help its settlement,” Pakayeen told reporters in the Northwestern city of Tabriz on Sunday.
He said that cooperation in this field would depend on Azerbaijan and Armenia’s demand from Iran.
Pakayeen also referred to Iran and Azerbaijan’s different cultural and religious commonalities, and said the two countries can increase their cooperation in trade, transit and energy fields.
Despite facing strong international pressure, the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders have failed to agree on the basic principles of ending the Karabakh conflict put forward by Russia, the United States, and France in 2011.
Armenia and Azerbaijan thus remain officially at war over Karabakh and the dispute is a major source of tension in the South Caucasus region wedged between Iran, Russia and Turkey.
No country – not even Armenia – officially recognizes Karabakh as an independent state.
The mountainous rebel region has been controlled by ethnic Armenians since it broke free of Baku’s control after a fierce war in the early 1990s that killed 30,000 people.