Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri says the Israeli regime is the root cause of discord in the region and poses a threat to the security and stability of all regional countries.
Baqeri made the remarks in a Tuesday meeting with Azerbaijan’s Minister of Defense Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, who arrived in Tehran at the head of a delegation. Hasanov is scheduled to hold talks with Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani.
Baqeri expressed hope that the visit by the Azerbaijani defense minister would present an opportunity for both sides to strengthen defense, technical and military cooperation.
He stressed the importance of more consultations between the Iranian and Azerbaijani officials to prevent misunderstandings, adding, “Our principled stance is to solve issues in the region by regional countries without any foreign interference.”
The top commander said the territorial integrity of all countries must be respected and that Iran is sensitive about the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
Baqeri said the liberation of Azerbaijan’s occupied territories in a war with neighboring Armenia following some three decades pleased Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and the people of Iran.
Baqeri further reiterated the Islamic Republic’s policy on the expansion of relations with neighbors, saying Iran and Azerbaijan have many commonalities in history, religion, language, among other things, and Iranians feel close to the fellow Muslim nation in Azerbaijan.
He expressed Iran’s readiness to participate in the projects to reconstruct liberated territories of Azerbaijan.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a six-week war in 2020 in which Azeri troops drove Armenian forces out of swathes of territory they had long controlled in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.
Although the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, ended in a Russian-brokered ceasefire, clashes on the border have persisted at irregular intervals, occasionally causing fatalities.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Baqeri warned that the terrorists in Syria and Iraq have been defeated but not eliminated, saying, “These terrorists are trying to boost their presence in the region, including in Afghanistan, the Caucasus and the Central Asia.”
The top Iranian commander urged regional countries to strengthen their cooperation to counter terrorism.
The Azerbaijani defense minister elaborated on the liberation of the occupied territories during the 44-day war with Armenia.