Iranwire – Iranian authorities canceled all flights to neighboring Azerbaijan and Armenia until further notice on the second day of a major flare-up in fighting over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Mohammad Mohammadi, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, told ISNA news agency on September 20 that the measure was taken to “ensure passenger safety.”
As a result, passenger flights from Iran to Yerevan and Baku were grounded.
Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani and ethnic Armenian sides reached a cease-fire agreement to end two days of intense fighting in Azerbaijan’s separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Talks between Azerbaijani officials and the region’s de facto leadership of the mostly ethnic Armenian enclave on its “reintegration” into Azerbaijan were scheduled to take place on September 20.
The previous day, Azerbaijan unleashed heavy artillery fire on Armenian positions in the mostly ethnic Armenian enclave.
The United Nations, Western powers and Russia appealed for a halt to the hostilities that have killed dozens of people and raised concerns that a full-scale war in the decades-old Caucasus hotspot could resume between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Iranian forces deployed along the country’s borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia.
In 2020, a Russian-brokered ceasefire ended six weeks of fighting in which Azerbaijan recaptured much of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts controlled since the 1990s by ethnic Armenians with Yerevan’s support.