Iran should become closer to Azerbaijan

Landing several mortar shells fired during the recent fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia is not a serious security problem for Iran, but in the long term the conflict can pose threats for Islamic Republic, Hassan Shariatmadari an Iranian politician told Trend on April 3.

Shariatmadari who is the son of Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Kazem Shariatmadari believes that Iran should leave the biased position and approach more to Azerbaijan. "At the same time, Baku should eliminate some remained tensions with Iran. Then Iran can help both neighbors to settle the conflicts and prevent the expansion of war, which can pose a serious threat against Iran's security," he said.

According to Shariatmadari, the remaining conflict in the Caucasus can lead to attracting terror groups in the region or involving other nations in the war between Baku and Yerevan. "The international community should attend more attention to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as soon as possible".

An Iranian provincial official has announced that three mortar shells fired during the recent fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan have landed in the territories of Iran's East Azerbaijan Province.

Saeid Shabestari-Khiabani, the deputy governor-general of East Azerbaijan Province for security affairs, said that the mortar shells dropped in a village near Khudaferin County, Tasnim news agency reported.

Shabestari-Khiabani further added that the mortar shells did not leave any casualties in the Iranian territory.

The Iranian official did not mention which country fired the mortar shells that hit the Iranian territory.

On the night of April 2, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars, grenade launchers and guns.

Later on the same day, Azerbaijani defense ministry announced that the country's armed forces launched counter-attack operations against Armenia that led to the liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.

However, later on taking into account the international organizations' appeals, Azerbaijan announced unilateral suspension of the counter-attacks and response measures in the territories occupied by Armenia.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

Source: Trend