2021-April-17 16:57
2021-March-1  16:17

Official: Liberation of Karabakh Should Deepen Regional Unity

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of Iran's Islamic Seminaries Ayatollah Alireza Arafi said the liberation of the occupied territories in Karabakh should lead to deeper unity among the regional nations, adding that every Islamic land is as sacred as Palestine.

Ayatollah Arafi made the remarks at the international conference on the Karabakh confloict in the Central holy city of Qom on Monday.

“The discourse of the Islamic Revolution is based on unity, convergence and resistance,” he said, adding, “Courage in the face of the aggressors of the Islamic Ummah, oppressors and bullies is one of the pillars of the Islamic Revolution’s discourse.”

The official noted this discourse is based on the ideals and teachings of late Imam Khomeini and the Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

“The Islamic Ummah has great resources and reserves; so, why should the Muslim lands be pillaged and oppressed?” Ayatollah Arafi maintained, adding, “For us, all Islamic lands are as much valuable and sacred as Palestine.”

He stressed that nothing should be exploited as a pretext to foment warmongering and violence.

In relevant remarks at the conference, Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezayee said that Armenia should return all occupied lands to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

"Our main task is to form a special autonomous region of Karabakh belonging to Azerbaijan,” Rezayee said at the international conference on Karabakh conflict on Monday in the Central city of Qom, adding, “Armenia must also hand over the remaining territories."

"Thousands of Iranian men were martyred to liberate Azerbaijan from the clutches of the tsars, and the proof can be seen in the Baku cemetery," he said.

"Azerbaijan is not only our neighbor; but also we are one nation in two countries," the official said, noting, "We and the people of Azerbaijan are one nation with a common culture and religion."

"Unfortunately, the Armenian government, with the pretext of defending the Armenians of Karabakh, attacked the area; However, the governments that incited Armenia to attack left Armenia alone afterward," Rezayee stressed.

The international conference on Karabakh conflict kicked off in the holy city of Qom, Central Iran, on Monday morning. Senior religious and political figures have attended the event, including Head of Iran's Islamic Seminaries Ayatollah Alireza Arafi, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, Secretary of Expediency Council Mohsen Rezayee and Senior Advisor to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ali-Akbar Velayati.

Iranian and international experts will touch upon the event from different aspects, including the humanitarian responsibilities over the issue that have been highlighted in the remarks of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Among other topics mention can be made to the necessity for freedom of the lands belonging to Azerbaijan, ensuring the safety of the Armenians residing in those regions and the need for mutual respect for the territorial integrity of both sides.

Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it has been held by ethnic Armenian separatists backed by Armenia since 1992, when they broke from Azerbaijan in a war that killed some 30,000 people.

The conflict re-erupted in late September 2020, becoming the worst fighting in the region in decades.

After weeks of fighting in and around Karabakh, the separatist government of the region finally acknowledged in November 2020 that it had lost control of the mountain enclave’s second-largest city of Shusha and that Azerbaijani forces were closing in on the main city of Khankendi, which Armenians call Stepanakert after a Bolshevik militant in the early 20th century.

Armenia and Azerbaijan eventually agreed to end hostilities in early November under a deal that secured territorial advances for Azerbaijan in Karabakh and seven surrounding districts.