According to Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Armenian foreign minister Alexander Arzumanian has urged Iran to become a mediator between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the conflict over Karabakh. During talks with the Iranian ambassador in Yerevan, Arzumanian was cited as saying that Iran’s impartial stance qualifies it as a mediator, and that both Yerevan and Baku would welcome Tehran in that role. (IRNA, January 12, cited by SWB, Summary of World Broadcasts, January 13) Karabakh’s recently elected president, Arkady Gukasian, for his part, has come out for Iran’s inclusion in the OSCE’s mediating group.
Whether Arzumanian has been cited accurately remains uncertain, at least for now. Iran’s official agency is known for sometimes putting into the mouths of foreign officials the words that Tehran would have wanted them to pronounce. At a minimum, the report may be taken as an indication that Tehran is willing to act as a mediator in the Karabakh conflict.
Moscow Against Shevardnadze’s Proposal for Bosnia-Type Operation in Abkhazia.