Iran responds to Aliyev’s statements on Yerevan-Tehran ties

The spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry has said Tehran’s close relations with a specific neighbor are never to the detriment of another neighboring state, Tasnim News Agency reports.

In a statement on Tuesday, Nasser Kanaani responded to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s recent comments that have reflected a sense of unease about the relations between Tehran and Yerevan.

“Our principled policy is based on good neighborliness and expansion of relations with all neighbors, and strengthening of ties with a neighbor does not mean those relations are against another neighbor,” Kanaani said.

Speaking in Shushi on Tuesday, Aliyev, without naming the country, raised the topic of Iran, calling the latest actions of Azerbaijan’s southern neighbor “hypocrisy.”

Aliyev accused Armenia of pursuing an aggressive policy against the Muslim world, and said they have “explained” this to the Muslim countries.

Kanaani also highlighted Iran’s principled policy on the long-running dispute between the two northern neighbors, saying, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has constantly emphasized protection of the territorial integrity of the Republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan and a peaceful resolution of their differences while respecting rights and within the framework of international law.”

Meanwhile, the spokesperson said Iran welcomes what he called the “liberation of Azerbaijani lands.”

The spokesman described the recent drills held on the borders of Armenia and Azerbaijan as a routine and pre-planned move, of which relevant neighbors were informed in advance through official channels.

“The solution to the Caucasus problems does not lie in a resort to extra-regional forces but in the capitals of regional countries, and the Islamic Republic reiterates its readiness to help resolve the outstanding issues between the two northern neighbors in bilateral and trilateral formats and in the form of six-way regional initiatives in Tehran,” Kanaani concluded.

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