Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan called for peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
He made the remarks during a meeting with Azerbaijani defense minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov who is on a visit to Tehran, the Iranian defense ministry reported Apr. 16.
He expressed hope that Azerbaijan and Armenia would not permit the third parties and foreigners to interfere in the conflict which only escalates the tension.
Dehghan further said that there is no capacity for a new crisis in the region, which is already plagued with insecurity and terrorism.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
The Iranian minister also stressed the need for closer military cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan and for efforts to block the third parties seeking to undermine Tehran-Baku ties.
Intensive meetings between the leaders and senior officials of the two countries indicate that the mutual political, economic and cultural ties are escalating, Dehghan added.
Heading a high-ranking military delegation, Hasanov arrived in Tehran on Apr. 15 at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart.