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Iran ready to facilitate Azerbaijan-Armenia talks based on intl. law: Ambassador

Iran’s ambassador to Baku has lamented the violation of a recently Russia-mediated truce agreement reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan to establish a ceasefire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, saying Tehran is ready to facilitate talks between the two neighboring countries involved in the conflict.

In a post on his Twitter page on Monday, Abbas Mousavi said Iran regrets “the Azerbaijan-Armenia ceasefire” violation and condemns “the attack on civilians, residential places.”

He added that the Islamic Republic expresses its readiness to facilitate the talks between the warring parties based on Intl. law, respect for the territorial integrity and evacuation of occupied territories.

Iran has regretted the 🇦🇿-🇦🇲 ceasefire violation & condemned the attack to the civilians, residential places. 🇮🇷 expresses its readiness to facilitate the talks btwn the warring parties based on Intl. law, respect to the territorial integrity & evacuation of occupied territories.— S.A MOUSAVI (@SAMOUSAVI9) October 12, 2020

The Iranian diplomat’s tweet came two days after the agreement brokered during marathon Moscow-mediated talks between Yerevan and Baku fell apart as fresh fighting has been reported between Azerbaijan and Armenian-backed forces in and around the disputed South Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh, with both sides accusing each other of violating “the humanitarian ceasefire.”

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said Armenian forces were not complying with the Russia-brokered ceasefire that came into force on Saturday after two weeks of fighting.

The talks were the first diplomatic contact between the two former Soviet republics since the recent fighting over the mountainous enclave broke out late in September.

About 500 people have been reported killed since then.

Earlier on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh invited the sides involved in the conflict to respect the truce.

He urged the two sides to “exercise more restraint.” He condemned rocket attacks against vital infrastructure and residential areas as well as the killing of civilians, and condoled with the survivors.

Iran has already warned the warring sides against border incursions, saying the security of its cities and villages is a top priority for the country. The warning came after a number of stray mortars from the Karabakh conflict struck Iranian villages along the border.

Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami once again warned the warring parties involved in military clashes on Tuesday that Tehran will take stronger measures than warnings if the shells fired in the fighting continue to hit the country’s border regions even by mistake.

“It is not acceptable at all that a bullet hits the Islamic Republic’s borders due to a mistake or carelessness,” Hatami said in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it is held by ethnic Armenian separatists backed by Armenia since 1992, when they broke from Azerbaijan in a war that killed some 30,000 people.

In 1994, a ceasefire was put in place and France, Russia and the US — known as the “Minsk Group” — were tasked with finding out a lasting resolution to the conflict.

But for decades, the group has failed to stop sporadic outbreaks of fighting and implement four UN resolutions which demand that military forces leave the occupied territories and hand them over to Azerbaijan.

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