Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani renewed Iran's call for a negotiated solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani during his press conference in Baku
Speaking to reporters in the Azeri capital city of Baku on Saturday, Larijani pointed to the failure of the recent trilateral negotiations between Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, and said he and the Azeri officials have discussed the issue in their meetings.
"We have always defended Azerbaijan's territorial integrity in all solutions to the dispute, and given the current circumstance in the region we recommend that the issue be solved through negotiations," Larijani noted.
He stressed that Iran is suspicious of the powerful countries' attitude and performance in the region since they are seeking their own interests, and added, "Therefore, we believe that it is more logical to pursue regional solutions to the Karabakh dispute."
Russian President Dmitry Medvede's latest trilateral negotiations with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev were held in the Russian city of Kazan on June 24.
Despite facing strong international pressure, the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders failed to agree on the basic principles of ending the Karabakh conflict put forward by Russia, the United States, and France.
The Kazan meeting was the ninth Armenian-Azerbaijani summit hosted by Medvedev in the last three years.
In November 2010, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad voiced Tehran's readiness to help resolve the territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
"We believe that the Karabakh issue will be resolved through dialogue and the commitment of both sides to justice, and Tehran is ready to negotiate with them within this framework," Ahmadinejad said in a joint press conference with his Azeri counterpart at the time.
Armenia and Azerbaijan remain officially at war over Karabakh and the dispute is a major source of tension in the South Caucasus region wedged between Iran, Russia and Turkey.
No country - not even Armenia - officially recognizes Karabakh as an independent state.
The rebel region has been controlled by ethnic Armenians since it broke free of Baku's control after a fierce war in the early 1990s that killed 30,000 people.
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