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Iran's land transit route to Armenia reopened after temporary closure

The road between the Armenian cities of Goris and Kapan, near the Azerbaijani village of Eyvazli. (file photo)

Iran says its land transit route to Armenia has reopened after a temporary closure and now trucks and cars are allowed to use it.

“Given the level of trade between Iran and Armenia and in order to facilitate the exchange of goods, in consultation with the Armenian border, the transit route of Goris-Kapan in the Norduz region of Julfa was reopened,” Brigadier General Ahmad Ali Goudarzi, the border commander of Iran's Law Enforcement Forces, said on Saturday.

Iranian customs office (IRICA) authorities had earlier announced that the entrance of the Goris-Kapan road to Armenia was blocked by the forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

"According to the news received from some drivers, the entrance of the Goris-Kapan road to Armenia was blocked by the Azerbaijani forces," said Ruhollah Latifi, a spokesman of IRICA.

“Following the blocking of a part of Iran's land route to Armenia until further notice, the executive customs and transport companies have been asked to refrain from sending cargo to the Norduz border,” he added. “Passengers and trucks carrying goods should make sure that the route is open in Armenia before leaving for the border of Norduz in East Azarbaijan Province.”

Latifi stressed that negotiations between Yerevan and Baku officials in this regard took place on Friday morning.

The Azeri Defense Ministry said two Armenian soldiers had attempted to stab an Azeri border guard in the area, with the Armenian Defense Ministry denying the allegation as a "sheer lie" and "more disinformation campaign by Azerbaijan."

Mohammad Javad Hedaiati, the director general of the Transit Office of the Roads and Transportation Organization, said the Goris-Kapan land route was temporarily blocked after the Armenian side introduced another route which was not suitable in terms of road construction quality.

“The new route introduced by Armenia was possible for 6- and 10-wheeled trucks to pass but it was not suitable for trailer traffic,” Hedaiati said.

Azerbaijan and Armenia ended six weeks of war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region last year.

On September 27, 2019, heavy clashes broke out between the two ex-Soviet republics over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has been populated by ethnic Armenians since 1992 when they broke from Azerbaijan in a war that killed some 30,000 people.

Six weeks of fighting that claimed more than 6,500 lives on both sides was brought to a close with a Russian-brokered ceasefire in November that secured territorial advances for Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts.

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