During a phone call with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned against attempts by countries outside the Caucasus to gain a foothold in the region, and also warned against making the region a battleground.

“The Islamic Republic’s policy toward the Caucasus is fixed,” he said, noting that it “must not turn into a field of competition between extra-regional countries, and its issues should be resolved by regional countries and away from foreign meddling.”

Regarding Armenia’s intention to develop road and railway connection routes between the two nations in addition to regional states, Raisi relayed Iran’s support, calling the plans an effective step to set in place peace and protect the interests of neighboring nations.

Raisi affirmed that any step aimed at opening communication routes and infrastructures in the region, while simultaneously respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries is supported by Iran. He also called Iran’s hosting of the 3+3 meeting in October a “constructive step” to strengthen regional cooperation.

Track record of developments

The 3+3 format cooperation mechanism includes the three South Caucasus countries: Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan plus Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

“Developing relations with neighbors and strengthening relations to ensure mutual interests and the interests of regional countries is the fundamental policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Raisi added.

On the other hand, Pashinyan stated that the increased interactions between both Armenia and Iran show the determination of the two neighbors to expand their bilateral ties in all fields.

Back in October, Raisi said that geopolitical change in the Caucasus is “unacceptable” as it would harm the interests of countries in the region. The Iranian President made the statement after hosting Azerbaijani and Armenian officials for talks on the successive developments in the Caucasus, specifically regarding Azerbaijan’s military campaign in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Source » almayadeen