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Iran warns against illegal entry of trucks into Azerbaijani territory

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)
Iranian authorities issue a notice warning against any illegal entry of trucks into the Azerbaijani territory.

The Iranian transportation ministry has issued a notice to haulage companies warning them against any illegal entry of their trucks into the Azerbaijani territories liberated in a war with Armenia last year.

The notice released on Wednesday warned that Iranian transit trucks travelling from Iran through Armenia should enter liberated territories in Karabakh region, including the city of Lachin, only through the official border checks erected on the border by Azerbaijan.

It said any other form of entry into those territories from neighboring Armenia would be regarded as trespassing by Azerbaijan and could entail legal risks.

The notice is the second such announcement issued by the Road Maintenance & Transportation Organization (RMTO) of Iran in less than a month.

The RMTO said that the new advisory notice had been issued after consultations with the Iranian foreign ministry.

The announcement comes more than a month after Azerbaijan arrested two Iranian truck drivers on accusations of trespassing into territories that were liberated last year after nearly three decades of occupation by pro-Armenian forces.

The arrests caused irritation in Tehran and prompted authorities to reroute export shipments destined for Russia and other countries to a new road that entirely passes through the Armenian territories.

Iran’s pro-government Nournews agency cited the advisory notice issued on Wednesday and said the announcement marks an end to ambiguities regarding Iran’s stance on border issues between Azerbaijan and Armenia,

It said Azerbaijan could reciprocate the move by immediately releasing the two Iranian drivers, adding that such an action would be a major step to "end misunderstandings" between the two countries.

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