The Iranian embassy in Baku has strongly condemned the recent rocket attack on Azerbaijan's second-largest city of Ganja and underlined that the attack on innocent people is “against all international legal norms”.
"The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressing its condolences to the bereaved families and wishing a speedy recovery for the injured, reiterates that attacks on innocent cities and people violate all internationally recognized legal norms ... and that such actions must be stopped as soon as possible," the Iranian IRNA news agency cited the statement as saying on October 17.
According to the latest reports, 13 civilians were killed and 53 people injured in Ganja, situated as far as 60 kilometers from the frontline, as a result of the Armenian armed forces’ ballistic missile attack — for the third time in the 20th day of the heavy clashes in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
Earlier, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh warned again against artillery shelling on country’s border regions during the ongoing military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
"Maintaining the security and peace of the Iranian citizens living in the border areas is the red line of our armed forces, and the Islamic Republic of Iran would not remain indifferent in case of a repeat of such attacks," Khatibzadeh said in a press conference on October 15, according to the official website of the foreign ministry.
On October 13, deputy governor-general of Iran’s northwestern province of East Azerbaijan, Aliyar Rastgou, said that a missile fell on the farmlands of Aqa-Alilou village in Heris County, but the blast did not cause any casualties or financial losses.
An official of the Iran's northwestern province of Ardabil, Behrouz Nedayee had also said that a drone crashed in the farmlands of the border County of Parsabad, according to Fars news agency.
According to some allegations circulated in news outlets and social media, Iran has opened its airspace, and its territory to facilitate the transport of military equipment and weaponry to Armenia through Iran's Norduz border point, as well as it is supplying fuel to the Armenia's forces in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
In early October, a large number of Azerbaijanis, who make up a sizable percentage of Iran's population, have taken to the streets in the northern provinces of Iran to show support for Azerbaijan and demand the closure of the country’s border with Armenia amid reports of Russian military equipment being transferred via its borders to Yerevan.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev dismissed the reports about the transfer of weapons through Iran’s territory, saying that "we have no information regarding the transfer of arms from Iran to Armenia; on the contrary, I can say that Iran and Georgia have closed their skies and land borders to send weapons to Armenia".
A new round of clashes erupted between the Armenian and Azerbaijani forces on September 27 with Armenia’s troops shelling heavily the military positions and civilian settlements of Azerbaijan. The attack prompted immediate counter-attack measures by the Azerbaijani army. Currently, military operations are being conducted in the territory of Azerbaijan, marking the fighting most intense between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces since a ceasefire that was reached in 1994. Armenia's shelling the densely populated residential areas in multiple zones, including major cities of Azerbaijan situated far from the frontline, have killed 61 and wounded 282 civilians to date.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a decades-old conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan but occupied by Armenia. Following the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991, Armenia launched a military campaign against Azerbaijan that lasted until a ceasefire deal was reached in 1994. Armenia occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. One million ethnic Azerbaijanis were forcibly displaced from these areas and 30,000 were killed.
Although the United Nations Security Council adopted four resolutions demanding the immediate withdrawal of the occupying forces from the Azerbaijani lands and the return of internally displaced Azerbaijanis to their ancestral lands, Armenia has failed to comply with all four legally binding documents.