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On Karabakh conflict, Iranian commander emphasizes red line of national security

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)
A man fixes damaged electricity cables next to a destroyed house in the historic city of Shusha on November 1, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

With the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in its sixth week, a senior Iranian commander says the Army’s Ground Forces have no red line other than the Islamic Republic’s national security.

Brigadier General Kioumars Heidari, the commander of the Army’s Ground Forces, said no geopolitical change in the region would be tolerated.

He gave an interview to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Tuesday.

The Iranian commander also echoed an already declared position that the Ground Forces would dispatch more troops to the border region if necessary.

“Given the political and military efforts which have been made so far, there has been no threat to the Iranian frontiers.”

Since September 27, a new wave of clashes – the worst in decades – has erupted between Azeri troops and Armenian-backed separatists of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Baku and Yerevan accuse each other of provocation.

The contested region, home to ethnic Armenian people, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it has been under the control of Armenian-backed separatists since the early 1990s.

Four ceasefire attempts have so far failed. Hundreds of people have been killed.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday referred to the conflict as “a bitter incident and a threat to the security of the region.”

"This military conflict must end as soon as possible. Of course, all the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia must be liberated and returned to Azerbaijan,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, emphasizing that the security of Armenians must be preserved and international borders must be respected by the warring sides,

"Terrorists who, based on reliable reports, have entered the region should avoid approaching the Iranian border, and if they do approach the border, they will definitely be dealt with decisively,” the Leader warned.

Late last month, Heidari warned enemies that they would be given no breathing space near the country’s borders.

“The enemy must know that we will give [it] no breathing room near Iran’s borders,” he told reporters after inspecting border areas with the two warring South Caucasian countries.

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