Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi meets Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, Tehran, July 24, 2023

TEHRAN (Azatutyun) — Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan discussed with Iran’s leaders Armenia’s ongoing peace talks with Azerbaijan and described the Islamic Republic as his country’s “special partner” during a visit to Tehran on Monday, July 24.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said Mirzoyan briefed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the “latest developments in the process of normalization of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations” and reaffirmed the Armenian government’s position on the “establishment of lasting peace in the South Caucasus.”

The issue also topped the agenda of his separate talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held earlier in the day. Mirzoyan complained about Azerbaijan’s continuing blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh’s only land link with Armenia, saying that it is hampering a peace deal currently discussed by Baku and Yerevan.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported that, Mohammad Jamshidi, a top aide to Raisi quoted him as warning against US involvement in Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks.

“These negotiations have to be carried out based on the interests of the [two] nations and without political conspiracies involving America and the Zionist regime [Israel,]” Raisi said, according to Jamshidi.

In recent months, the United States has been at the forefront of international efforts to broker a comprehensive peace treaty between Baku and Yerevan. Mirzoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov held two rounds of intensive US-mediated talks in May and June.

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They were scheduled to meet in Moscow on July 25 for fresh talks that will be hosted by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Russia has been very critical of the US peace efforts, saying that their main goal is to squeeze it out of the region, rather than end the Karabakh conflict.

Raisi was also reported to reaffirm Tehran’s strong opposition to any “geopolitical” border changes in the South Caucasus.

Iranian leaders have frequently made such statements in response to Azerbaijan’s demands for an extraterritorial corridor to its Nakhichevan exclave that would pass through Syunik, the sole Armenian province bordering Iran. They have warned that the Islamic Republic would not tolerate attempts to strip it of the common border and transport links with Armenia.

Mirzoyan praised Tehran’s stance on the “inviolability of our state borders” during a joint news briefing with Amir-Abdollahian.

“For us, Iran has always been and remains and will continue to be a special partner, including in overcoming the challenges in the current difficult conditions,” he said.

According to another Iranian news agency, Mehr, the Armenian minister assured Raisi that Armenia “will never become a platform for anti-Iranian actions” and remains committed to deepening Armenian-Iranian ties.


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