Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Monday that for Armenia and Azerbaijan, recognizing each other’s territorial integrity is an “important” step toward a peace deal.
He made the remarks in a phone call with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, according to a statement published on the Iranian president’s office website.
Raisi stressed that “the security atmosphere” along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border should be replaced by an economic one as soon as possible.
He emphasized that Iran is opposed to any geopolitical change or the presence of transregional Western forces in the Caucasus, as outsiders’ presence not only fails to solve any problem, but will also lead to the emergence of new ones.
Raisi noted that Iran and the South Caucasus region are parts of the same history and culture, saying that his country promotes interactions and cooperation with the region.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh since 1988. Peace talks have been held since 1994, when a ceasefire was agreed upon, but there have been sporadic minor clashes.
A new round of armed conflict broke out along the contact line on Sept. 27, 2020, before Russia brokered a ceasefire on Nov 9, 2020.
The two sides have since been discussing a peace deal.