TEHRAN — Iran again warned against attempts to strip it of direct access to Armenia when it reacted to heavy fighting on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan telephoned Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to brief him on the hostilities that broke out along several sections of the frontier shortly after midnight. One of those sections is close to Iranian territory bordering Armenia’s southeastern Syunik province.
Raisi expressed serious concern over the escalation, saying that “the region cannot tolerate another war.”
“The historical borders of Iran and Armenia are considered the bedrock of prosperity, convergence and security of the region,” he was quoted by his office as telling Pashinyan.
In this regard, the Iranian Foreign Ministry emphasized the importance of respecting the territorial integrity of both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Any change to the border between the two South Caucasus states is unacceptable to Tehran, said a ministry spokesman.
Syunik is the sole Armenian province bordering Iran. Baku has been pressing Yerevan to open an exterritorial corridor connecting Azerbaijan to its Nakhichevan exclave through the province. The Armenian government rejects these demands while expressing readiness to restore Armenian-Azerbaijani transport links.
Iranian leaders are also strongly opposed to the land corridor, fearing a loss of the common border with Armenia.
“The Islamic Republic will not tolerate policies or plans that lead to the closing of the Iran-Armenia border,” Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned in July.
According to the Armenian government’s press office Raisi recalled Khamenei’s warning during the phone call with Pashinyan. The Iranian president also said that Armenia’s national security is important to Iran, added the office.