Tehran hosted a dialogue conference on Monday, known as the "3+3 format," bringing together the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in an attempt to resolve tensions between the two neighbors. The initiative also involved Turkey and Russia, while Georgia refused to attend.
In separate meetings with Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers, Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi underlined the Islamic Republic's rejection of interference by Western powers in the Caucasus.
According to his official website, Raisi told the pair that such interference "will be harmful to regional peace and stability." He expressed Tehran's preparedness to mediate between the two sides after the brief September conflict that ended in Azerbaijan's takeover of the Armenian-controlled areas of Karabakh region.
The Islamic Republic has long maintained close ties with Yerevan, but relations with Baku have been bumpy. Tehran views Azerbaijan's friendly ties with Israel as a menace, and a gate to Israeli influence in the region. And during the meeting with Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Ceyhun Bayramov, Raisi advised Baku to avoid Israel. "I had already told [Azerbaijan's President] Mr. Elham Aliyev that Israel can never be friends with any Islamic country," Raisi said.