Presence of foreigners causes tensions, Iran top general tells Baku

TEHRAN – General Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of joint staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, spoke over the phone with Azerbaijani Defense Minister General Hasanov Zakir Asgar oglu.

In this call, General Bagheri stressed the need to expand bilateral relations and defense and military cooperation.

Referring to the valuable agreements signed between the armed forces of Iran and Azerbaijan in the past, General Bagheri said, “The level of cooperation, communication and interaction between the armed forces of the two countries is progressing in all areas. We believe that the armed forces can become a factor of strengthening, friendship and brotherhood between the two countries.”

General Bagheri announced the full readiness of the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran to participate in the Joint Military Commission in Baku.

“Creating security and peace in common borders is only possible with empathy and unity between neighboring countries,” he said, according to Fars News, adding, “The presence of foreigners in the region will cause tension and conflict.”

In this conversation, the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan announced the full readiness of the country's armed forces to improve the level of bilateral military and defense cooperation.

“We always consider the Islamic Republic of Iran as our friendly and close country. We welcome military cooperation in all fields and, God willing, we will be able to host the Iranian delegation at the Joint Military Commission in Baku in the near future,” the Azerbaijani defense minister said.

At the end of the conversation, the Azerbaijani minister invited General Bagheri to pay a visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani defense ministry also put out a statement about the call, saying, “The sides exchanged views on the situation and security issues in the region.”

“During the conversation, the prospects for the development of military cooperation between the two countries were also discussed,” the statement added.

The call, which took place on Tuesday, comes amid tensions in the South Caucasus region between Baku and Yerevan. On Wednesday, the Azerbaijani defense ministry said its forces came under attack from Armenian forces. “On August 23, at about 02:10, the Armenian armed forces units from the positions in the direction of Yukhari Shorzha settlement of the Basarkechar region using small arms subjected to fire the Azerbaijan Army positions stationed in the direction of Zaylik settlement of the Kalbajar region. The Azerbaijan Army Units took retaliatory measures in the mentioned direction,” the Azerbaijani defense ministry said in a separate statement.

Iran, Russia envoys meet in Baku

The ambassadors of Iran and Russia to the Republic of Azerbaijan held a meeting in Baku on Tuesday to exchange views on a number of issues of mutual interest.

The newly-appointed Russian ambassador to Azerbaijan, Mikhail Yevdokimov, met his Iranian counterpart, Seyed Abbas Mousavi, in Baku.

In this meeting, the two sides discussed extensive bilateral relations, trilateral cooperation between Tehran, Baku, and Moscow, and the latest developments in the peace talks between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia, especially the situation of Karabakh.

They also discussed closer cooperation between the five coastal countries of the Caspian Sea in the economic and environmental fields, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Iran and Russia enjoy close cooperation regarding the South Caucasus region, where tensions running high after the recent war between Baku and Yerevan over the disputed region of Karabakh.

Iran and Russia are also working to stabilize the region and prevent another escalation of tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which remains at loggerheads over border disputes.

In recent months, tensions escalated again between Baku and Yerevan over establishing a land corridor connecting mainland Azerbaijan to the exclave of Nakhchivan. Iran said it won't accept any change to the international borders of the region.

Source: Tehran Times