By Zehra Nur Duz
ANKARA (AA) – Iran on Tuesday warned that Armenia's attempt to hold elections in the occupied Upper Karabakh region would escalate tensions and disputes in the region.
"We believe whatever measure that further complicates the path to the settlement of disputes between our two neighboring states, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia, must be avoided,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement.
Underlining Iran's opposition to any measure further escalating tensions and disputes in the region, the spokesman stressed the necessity for a "peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of the international principles and law".
The so-called presidential and parliamentary elections are set to be held on Tuesday in Upper Karabakh – also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, a region illegally occupied by Armenia.
Azerbaijan and Armenia, two former Soviet republics, fought a war over the disputed region in 1988-1994. The two signed a cease-fire in 1994, but never reached a peace deal. Upper Karabakh remains unrecognized internationally as a separate state.
Turkey maintains that any resolution of the Upper Karabakh conflict should take into account Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.
Upper Karabakh is an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan which has been illegally occupied since 1991 by Armenian military aggression.
Four UN Security Council and two General Assembly resolutions, as well as decisions by many other international organizations, refer to this fact and demand the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupation forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan.
The OSCE Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia and the U.S. – was formed to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but has yet to get any results.