Iran says it is precisely monitoring developments at Armenia-Azerbaijan border areas, voicing its readiness to help both countries peacefully settle their dispute.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Friday that Tehran is pursuing the recent developments at Armenia-Azerbaijan borders with sensitivity and precision
“The Islamic Republic of Iran stresses the importance of maintaining stability and peace in the region and invites both sides to exercise self-restraint, refrain from sowing discord and respect the borders,” he added.
The Iranian spokesperson expressed hope that the dispute would be resolved as soon as possible through peaceful ways with the two countries’ prudence.
Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia are simmering again after they fought a war last year over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused Azerbaijani troops on Thursday of encroaching on Armenian territory, claiming that Azerbaijani forces advanced 3 kilometers into southern Armenia in an act of "infiltration."
"It is an encroachment on the sovereign territory of Armenia. This is an act of subversive infiltration,” Pashinyan said, adding Armenia's soldiers had responded with an "appropriate tactical maneuver."
Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry rejected Pashinyan's provocative claims, saying Armenia's border troops were "taking positions that belong to Azerbaijan" in the Lachin and Kalbajar districts.
"Azerbaijan is committed to defusing the tensions in the region and urges to take steps in that direction," it added.
Azerbaijani and Armenian military forces engaged in heavy clashes in late September over the disputed Karabakh region. Both sides blamed each other for initiating the fighting in the Caucasus Mountains.
It was the worst spate of fighting between the two former Soviet republics since the 1990s.
Yerevan in November signed a Russia-brokered deal to end its conflict with Baku over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, committing itself to withdrawal of all its forces from the occupied territories in a move that has outraged Armenians who consider it as “concession of defeat”.
Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh is mainly inhabited by ethnic Armenians. Though a ceasefire was agreed in 1994, Baku and Yerevan continue to accuse each other of shooting attacks around the enclave.