Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour has called for resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through negotiations.
In an exclusive interview with Trend on Apr. 5, Rahimpour emphasized the need for a peaceful settlement of the crisis.
The deputy foreign minister further expressed his regret over the recent developments in Karabakh which has been a scene of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the past couple of days.
Calling for a truce in Nagorno-Karabakh, Rahimpour said that Iran backs restoring calm to the region within international law.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers.
The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population.
Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements. More than 370 Armenian soldiers, 12 tanks, 12 armored vehicles and 15 artillery pieces have been destroyed from April 2 until today.
Military operations were stopped on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Apr. 5 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry earlier said.