Iran’s Roads and Transportation Agency has banned Iranian trucks from travelling to Nagorno Karabakh controlled by Armenians to avoid Azerbaijani protests.

In September tensions flared up between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan after Baku arrested two Iranian truck drivers, accusing them of going to Nagorno Karabakh that lies within its international borders.

The tensions led to military drills by each side and political mudslinging, including Iranian accusations that Azerbaijan allows an Israeli military and intelligence presence on its territory.

Iran has tried to remain neutral in the conflict between its two northern neighbors but is concerned of more Azerbaijani encroachments on Armenian territory after last year’s war in which Baku took back most of the territories it had lost to Armenia in the early 1990s.

The Agency has told transportation companies not to send trucks to the disputed region from Armenia, reminding them of a foreign ministry directive that entering the region from any point other than Azerbaijani border posts would violate the latter’s territorial integrity.

Most of Iran’s exports to Armenia travel along a road partly controlled by Azerbaijan. Tehran and Yerevan earlier agreed to widen and expand another route that would allow trucks to travel without hindrance.

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