Iran ready to help end Karabakh dispute: Rouhani

357848_Iran-Azerbaijan (1)Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has stressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to contribute to the settlement of the decades-old dispute on the Nagorno-Karabakh region which Azerbaijan and Armenia both lay claim to.

“We are fully ready [to help] so that all problems in the region including the Karabakh issue can be resolved fairly and within the framework of international conventions,” Rouhani said in a joint press conference with visiting Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in Tehran on Wednesday.

The Iranian president noted that no change in “geographical boundaries” in the region is acceptable, adding, “We must all try to settle differences within the framework of political and peaceful issues.”

Rouhani stated that friendly relations between Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan would benefit the two nations as well as regional stability.

Both Azerbaijan and Armenia claim the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is largely populated by Armenians but located in Azerbaijan.

Ethnic Armenian forces took control of the enclave which accounts for 16 percent of Azerbaijan in the early 1990s during a six-year war with the country that took place from February 1988 to May 1994.

The conflict left an estimated 30,000 people dead and one million displaced before the two sides agreed to a ceasefire in 1994. However, a peace accord has never been signed and the dispute still remains unsettled.

Iran has on several occasions offered to intervene in the dispute.

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