TEHRAN — Iran announced late on Tuesday that it has drawn up a plan to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the hope of stopping fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces continuing along its northwestern border.
“This plan approved by the country’s supreme leadership will be presented today or tomorrow,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. “We are going to present it in Moscow and Yerevan as well.”
Zarif did not divulge any details of the plan. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh also shed no light on it when he spoke at a news briefing in Tehran. He said only that it can put an end to the long-running conflict over Karabakh.
Zarif’s deputy Abbas Araghchi reportedly travelled to Baku earlier on Tuesday to submit the peace proposals to Azerbaijan’s leadership.
International efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict have long been jointly led by the United States, Russia and France through the OSCE Minsk Group.
The American, French and Russian diplomats co-chairing the group are scheduled to hold fresh talks with the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in Geneva on Thursday. They said at the weekend that they are planning to discuss not only a new ceasefire regime in the conflict zone but also a Karabakh settlement proposed by the three mediating nations.
An area south of Karabakh and north of Iran has been one of the epicenters of the ongoing war that broke out on September 27. Tehran says that dozens of rockets and other shells have mistakenly landed near Iranian border villages over the past month.
According to Iranian news agencies, Araghchi toured Iranian districts adjacent to the area before heading to Baku. He warned the warring sides against causing any damage to Iranian hydroelectric plants and reservoirs on the Arax river marking the Iranian border.
Iran’s army and Revolutionary Guards have reportedly been massing troops along the border. The army began on Sunday major exercises in Iran’s Western Azerbaijan province bordering Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey.
“We will not tolerate any threats to our country’s borders,” a top Iranian general was reported to say on Tuesday.
Zarif said that Tehran will also not tolerate the presence of Sunni Islamist militants and “other terrorists” in the region. He clearly alluded to reports that Turkey has recruited scores of Syrian and Libyan mercenaries for the Azerbaijani army.