Deputy FM: Iran Willing to Cooperate with Azerbaijan to Establish Regional Peace, Stability (FARS News Agency (Iran))

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania Ebrahim Rahimpour underlined Tehran’s enthusiasm for increased cooperation with Baku to improve regional peace and stability.

“The recent incidents in the region showed Iran and Azerbaijan’s moderate religious views and we are prepared for cooperation with you to maintain peace and stability in the region,” Rahimpour said in a meeting with the head of Azerbaijan’s religious committee, Mobarez Qorbanli, and his entourage in Tehran on Tuesday.

During the meeting, the Iranian and Azeri officials also discussed ways to further develop religious relations between the two nations.

Qorbanli, for his part, expressed the hope that the agreements between Tehran and Baku as well as the two countries’ lingual and religious commonalities would pave the ground for boosting the number of Azeri seminaries in Iranian religious schools.

Tehran has in recent years focused seriously on developing ties with neighboring countries, including Republic of Azerbaijan which enjoys various commonalties with Iran in religious, historical and cultural fields.

Late in April, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan and his Azeri counterpart Lieutenant General Zaker Hassanov underlined that the needed grounds are prepared for the promotion of Tehran-Baku defense cooperation.

In a meeting in Baku on April 21, the two sides discussed the bilateral, regional and international issues, and mainly stressed the consolidation of their defense ties.

Dehqan said that the Iranian and Azeri governments adopted joint stand and collective efforts on security issues and to turn the threats into opportunity through expansion of their security cooperation.

He further voiced concern about aggravating security situation in the region and the world and growing danger of terrorism and insecurity and stressed that the defensive and military cooperation between Tehran and Baku can boost the region’s stability.

Dehqan extended Tehran’s full support for the Azeri territorial integrity and settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh issue with the Armenian republic through diplomatic negotiations.

Hassanov, for his part, praised defensive and technological might and capacity of Iranian armed forces and said, “We observed such a power in the glorious parade of the Islamic Republic Army on April 18 and are proud of it.”

He said Iranian and Azeri heads of state are firm to expand cooperation.

The Minister suggested formation of joint defense-military committee, headed by Iranian and Azeri defense ministers, saying it is an import move to expedite implementation of the mutually reached agreements.

In relevant remarks in February, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underscored the necessity for the further consolidation of relations and cooperation with Azerbaijan in all arenas.

“There are different fields for economic, political and cultural cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan and we hope that during this visit we can take some measures to broaden cooperation and remove certain, mostly bureaucratic, problems and reach a good understanding for the further development of cooperation,” Zarif said upon arrival at Baku airport.

Stressing Iran’s willingness and success in strengthening ties with neighbors, he said, “Our relations have grown more extensive with all neighbors and during the past 1.5 years, 20 visits at the level of ministers, higher than ministers and presidents have been paid by the two countries.”