YEREVAN — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan praised Iran for supporting Armenia’s position on transport links with Azerbaijan when he met with a senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Yerevan on Monday.

The official, Kamal Kharrazi, also heads Iran’s Strategic Council for Foreign Relations reportedly linked to Khamenei’s office. He had served as Iranian foreign minister from 1997-2005.

The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict was high on the agenda of Kharrazi’s separate talks with Pashinyan and Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan.

“Minister Mirzoyan presented Armenia’s approaches in detail, emphasizing the imperative of unconditional respect for Armenia’s territorial integrity, inviolability of borders and sovereignty,” said the Armenian Foreign Ministry.

Both Pashinyan and Mirzoyan were reported to stress the importance of Tehran’s “positive” reaction to Yerevan’s “Crossroads of Peace” project which they view as a blueprint for opening the Armenian-Azerbaijani border to travel and commerce.

The project says that Armenia and Azerbaijan should have full control of transport infrastructure inside each other’s territory. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian praised it during a December visit to Yerevan.

Iran has repeatedly warned against attempts to strip it of the common border and transport links with Armenia. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi reportedly told a visiting Azerbaijani official in October 2023 that the corridor sought by Baku is “resolutely opposed by Iran.” Khamenei likewise made this clear to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when they met in Tehran in 2022.

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