Iranian official: Iran does not support Armenian aggression and occupation policy
Iran, Tehran, September 20 / Trend E. Huseynov, T. Jafarov /
Iran has always supported Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue as a basic and unchanging matter of policy, Iranian Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Seyyed Mohammad-Reza Mir-Tajeddini has said.
"Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijani territory. We cannot support an Armenian policy of aggression and occupation that aims to separate the region from Azerbaijan," he told Trend.
He said that the Iran has repeatedly offered to arrange talks in Tehran to resolve the frozen conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Azerbaijan has offered support for this initiative. But Yerevan has refused to participate in the negotiations, the Iranian official said.
"We support the involvement of neighboring countries, including Iran, Turkey, Georgia and Russia to mediate in the talks. It is necessary to analyze the situation and help to resolve the conflict fairly," he said.
He said that Iran has repeatedly tried to arrange tripartite talks between Iran, Azerbaijan, and Armenia but Yerevan has not supported these initiatives, despite pressure from the U.S., and has maintained its occupation of Azerbaijani territories.
He said that Iran also condemns the destruction of Muslim monuments, including mosques, by Armenians in the occupied territories.
"As part of my activities as an MP from Tabriz, I wrote an article about the situation with the Aghdam mosque and denounced this fact. Several other members joined me. Naturally, we condemn any disrespect to Islam. A mosque is a symbol of religion and faith. The mosques in Karabakh are not an exception. Our priests [mudzhtehids] and theologians condemn the desecration of mosques," he said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.