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Iran ready to contribute to easing tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh — defense ministry

April 04, 17:01 UTC+3 TEHRAN
Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan has discussed the latest development in Nagorno-Karabakh with his Azerbaijani counterpart Zakir Hasanov
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Armenian soldiers in the village of Mardakert, Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenian soldiers in the village of Mardakert, Nagorno-Karabakh

© Associated Press Television via AP

TEHRAN, April 4. /TASS/. Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Zakir Hasanov have discussed in a telephone conversation the latest development in Nagorno-Karabakh, IRNA news agency reported on Monday.

Dehghan noted the importance of settling the conflict by peaceful means and called on Baku and Yerevan to exercise restraint. He added that Iran will make every effort to help alleviate tensions.

This is the second conversation between the defense ministers over the last 24 hours. On Sunday Dehghan held telephone talks with the defense ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan. He tried to convince them to end the conflict and settle the crisis by dialogue," IRNA noted.

On Saturday, April 2, the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh rapidly deteriorated when the parties to the Karabakh conflict accused each other of violating truce along the front line. The claims came from defense authorities of Armenia and of Azerbaijan.

Neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan fell out with each other in the late 1980s because of Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up but was mainly populated by Armenians.

In 1991-1994, the confrontation spilled over into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and some adjacent territories. Thousands left their homes on both sides in a conflict that killed 30,000. A truce was called between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh republic on one side and Azerbaijan on the other in May 1994.

Talks on Nagorno-Karabakh have been held on the basis of the so-called Madrid Principles suggested by co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Russia, France and the United States in December 2007 in the Spanish capital. They include three key principles written in the Helsinki Final Act: refraining from the threat or use of force, territorial integrity and the right to self-determination.

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