Iran said Monday that the security of its citizens was a “red line”, after stray missiles hit an Iranian district as a result of the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“Iran will respond to any aggression even the unintentional ones,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in statements cited by the official IRNA news agency.
He said the Iranian armed forces have already sent necessary warnings to opposing sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Last week, ten missiles landed in two villages in the Khudaferin district in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, south of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, injuring a civilian.
The spokesman said Tehran warned Armenia and Azerbaijan following the incident. “Next time, Iran would not remain indifferent,” he warned.
Upper Karabakh conflict
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
Some 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
The OSCE Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.
Multiple UN resolutions, as well as international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.
World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged a new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.
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