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Iran invites sides in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to respect ceasefire

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Rescuers carry away the body of a victim at the blast site hit by a rocket during the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, in the city of Ganja, Azerbaijan, on October 11, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Iran's Foreign Ministry has invited the sides involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to respect a truce that was recently negotiated by Russia to end the firefight between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region.

Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Monday 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.

The official advised that the two sides return to the ceasefire regime, resume negotiations within the international legal framework and with mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity, and withdraw from the occupied cities.

His remarks came a day after the agreement brokered during marathon Moscow-mediated talks fell apart due to reported Armenian shelling of Azerbaijan’s second-largest city of Ganja.

Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said the shellfire left at least nine people dead and 33 others wounded, including children, less than 24 hours after the halt to fighting was supposed to take effect.

The decades-old conflict flared up on September 27 along Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact.

Hundreds of people are feared to have died so far amid the situation that is the worst to afflict the region since 1992, when Yerevan-backed separatists invaded the region following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Although, Nagorno-Karabakh has been populated by Armenians ever since the invasion, it is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

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.

Read more:

Iran Foreign Ministry sends official note of protest to warring sides in Karabakh over extension of hostilities to its territory

Khatibzadeh announced the Islamic Republic’s readiness to facilitate negotiation processes that could help work out a permanent solution to the conflict and establish peace between the two sides.

The offer came as decades of mediation by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group -- a body formed among Russia, France, and the United States to supposedly remedy the conflict -- has unexceptionally fallen short of the goal.

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