Araghchi Arrives in Baku to Present Iranian Peace Plan

  • Araqchi is scheduled to travel to Yerevan, Moscow, and Ankara to discuss Iran's peace initiative.
  • "Ending the occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan is an important element in the proposed initiative of Iran."
  • Over the past month, Azerbaijan has managed to capture about a third of Nagorno-Karabakh, which has been "occupied" by Armenian forces.

Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs and President Hassan Rouhani’s Special Envoy to Baku arrived in the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan, on Wednesday at the head of a delegation. Araghchi arrived in Baku with a proposed peace plan.

Abbas Araghchi is an Iranian diplomat who is currently the political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran. He previously held office as the Deputy for Asia–Pacific and the Commonwealth Affairs and Legal and International Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran.

Araqchi is scheduled to travel to Yerevan, Moscow, and Ankara to discuss Iran’s peace initiative. The fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh continues unabated, despite the announced ceasefire.

In Baku, Aragchi and his accompanying delegation will meet with Azerbaijani officials, including Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov, Special Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan Hekmat Hajiyev, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafaev.

On the eve of his visit to Baku, Araqchi said that he was carrying on Iran’s initiative to peacefully resolve the war between the two neighboring countries of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

“This issue is a matter of serious concern to us, and we are pursuing the issue politically and across borders,” said Araghchi. He added, “the security of our borders is one of our inviolable principles and we will not neglect it in any way.”

The appointment of Araqchi, as Special Envoy of the President of Iran Hassan Rouhani in Nagorno-Karabakh, indicates the activation of Iran’s policy on the Nagorno-Karabakh war.

Iran could influence the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis because of its friendly relations with the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as its relations with Russia and Turkey in the region.

Kazem Jalali, Iran’s ambassador to Russia, also spoke in an interview with the Moscow-based Izvestia newspaper about Iran’s willingness to mediate between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

According to Jalali, the escalation of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh could have dangerous consequences not only for the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia, but for the entire region.

Iranian officials are ready to mediate in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. Over the past month, Azerbaijan has managed to capture about a third of Nagorno-Karabakh, which has been “occupied” by Armenian forces.

Iran’s Plan to End the Karabakh War

A map of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Abbas Araghchi says that the visit to Baku is part of a periodic visit to a number of countries in the region (Armenia, Russia, and Turkey), and his main purpose is to present Iran’s initiative to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and achieve a lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Araqhchi also said that the framework of Iran’s initiative is being prepared, and will be consulted with the officials of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

According to Araghchi, Iran’s plan in several stages can bring the situation to lasting peace and end the existing conflicts and the occupation of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

“Ending the occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan is an important element in the proposed initiative of Iran,” Araqchi said. He added that “minority rights and human rights are another pillars of this plan.”

Iran’s special envoy for Nagorno-Karabakh stressed that ending the conflict and starting talks with the help of influential, contributing and peace-guaranteeing countries are other elements of the plan.

Rouhani’s special envoy to Baku also added that he will meet and consult with countries in the region about Iran’s plan so that the proposed plan can be implemented through consultations. Shortly after Armenia and Azerbaijan began the conflict, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted:

“Iran is closely monitoring the alarming violence in Nagorno-Karabakh. We call for an immediate end to hostilities and urge dialogue to resolve differences. Our neighbors are our priority and we are ready to provide good offices to enable talks. Our region needs peace now.”

After visiting Baku, Abbas Araghchi will travel immediately to Moscow and Yerevan and then to Ankara to outline Iran’s proposed initiative to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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