Caucasus tensions pour in no one's interest: Iran NSC chief
The head of the Iranian National Security Council underlines that tensions flaring up in the Caucasus region would benefit no one involved.
Conflicts and tensions in the Caucasus area would not be in any nation's best interests, Iranian Supreme National Security Council chief Ali Shamkhani said, underlining his country's opposition to geographic changes in the region.
"Any geographical change in the South Caucasus region is a tension-building measure, which will play into the hands of the enemies of regional security and stability," he said, Iranian news agency Press TV reported.
Shamkhani stressed that dialogue and interaction needed to replace any "hard approach" aimed at curbing regional issues.
Furthermore, he added that the region in question was undergoing a sensitive period, hoping that Azerbaijan and Armenia would be able to resolve existing tensions by restraining themselves.
"[Maintaining] good-neighborly relations and making a joint endeavor for the settlement of the regional challenges through peaceful means are among the Islamic Republic's most important pieces of advice to all [regional] parties," Shamkhani underlined.
He also highlighted that the development of cooperation and interaction with neighbors was part of Iran's foreign policy, saying it was a priority for the incumbent Iranian administration of President Ebrahim Raisi.
Shamkani's words came during a meeting with Armenian Security Council chief Armen Grigoryan.
The top security official said Iran played an "important role" in the development of relations among the countries of the South Caucasus, as well as the protection of regional security.
He also praised Iran's "very effective" role in the realization of regional peace and stability, stressing that dialogue and interaction among regional states were the only way of resolving the existing regional crises and exacerbating tensions.
In September 2020, the long-running Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan resurfaced. The parties attempted multiple truces before signing a trilateral Moscow-brokered agreement in November of that year, which enjoined a ceasefire and the exchange of captives.
After a meeting of Azerbaijani, Armenian, and Russian leaders in January 2021, the trilateral working group was formed to support the revival and building of new transport infrastructure facilities required for the organization of international transit between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The two countries agreed to a complete ceasefire and exchange of prisoners, while Russia deployed peacekeepers to the region.
However, clashes erupt every now and then between both sides despite the Russian-backed ceasefire agreement.
The latest hike in tensions was in late March, with the Armenian foreign ministry accusing Baku of preparing an escalation against Armenia via the use of an "aggressive rhetoric" aimed at undermining existing agreements between both countries.