No place for Takfiri terrorists close to Iran borders
A senior advisor of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has reacted to reports on transfer of terrorists from Syria to South Caucasus during Nagarno-Karabakh conflicts stressing that there is no place for Takfiri terrorists close to Iran’s borders.
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“There is no place for Wahhabi and Takfiri terrorists among people of Azerbaijan who are known for their love for Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)’s progeny, and track records of such groups are very bleak,” Ali Akbar Velayati said on Monday in an address to a webinar held to discuss Ayatollah Khamenei’s views on the disputed Karabakh region.
“The people of Azerbaijan are capable of liberating their land and the presence of Wahhabi terrorists in north of Iran’s borders [with Azerbaijan] will be fruitless,” he added.
The South Caucasus enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but is populated and controlled by ethnic Armenians.
For years, the two former soviet republics have been locked in a conflict over the region. Though a ceasefire was agreed in 1994, Baku and Yerevan continue to accuse each other of shooting attacks around the disputed area.
The fresh Karabakh escalation began on September 27. It has been rated the worst fighting to plague Karabakh since 1992, when Armenians invaded the region and forced Azeris into a retreat.
Some reports have emerged about the deployment of terrorists from Syria and Iraq to the conflict zone near the Iranian border.
Noting that the need to maintain security in the South Caucasus region is undeniable, Velayati said, “The remarks made by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution on the situation in Caucasus delineate the positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran on this region and lay out strategic principles, which should be completely fulfilled.”
Speaking at a televised address on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on November 3, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the military conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave as “a bitter incident and a threat to the security of the region.”
“This military conflict must end as soon as possible. Of course, all the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia must be liberated and returned to Azerbaijan,” while the security of Armenians must be preserved and international borders must be respected by the warring sides, the Leader said.
“Terrorists who, based on reliable reports, have entered the region should avoid approaching the Iranian border, and if they do approach the border, they will definitely be dealt with decisively,” the Leader warned.
Velayati, who is also the secretary general of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening, added that the security of Iran is closely intertwined with security and peace in neighboring countries, saying, "We believe that national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran cannot be maintained in the absence of security and calm in neighboring countries."
Reaffirming Ayatollah Khamenei’s stance on Karabakh that all Armenian-held territories should be returned to Azerbaijan, Velayati hailed the restoration of the lands to Baku as a “great success."
He noted that Iran has common borders with Azerbaijan, Armenia and parts of Azerbaijan's territory in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, saying, “Therefore, it is rational for Iran to seriously engage in the issue as a neighbor both to the Azerbaijan Republic and Armenia."
The leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia signed a statement late on November 9 to end the war in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The ceasefire agreement came into effect overnight.
“The Aghdam region and the territories held by the Armenian Party in the Gazakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be returned to the Azerbaijani Party until November 20, 2020,” the ceasefire agreement said.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has agreed that his country returns the Kalbajar region to the Republic of Azerbaijan by November 15, 2020, and the Lachin region by December 1, 2020, while leaving behind the Lachin corridor (5 km wide), which will ensure the connection of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and at the same time will not affect Shusha city, which was recently retaken by Azerbaijani forces.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier this month warned about the transfer of Daesh remnants to the Nagorno-Karabakh region, saying the Islamic Republic will not tolerate the presence of Takfiri terrorists near its borders.
Zarif said Iran was almost sure about the presence of terrorist elements in the Karabakh clashes, stressing that the situation was not in any side's interest.