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Large Iranian Armored Unit Spotted Moving Towards Nagorno-Karabakh Border (Photos, Video)

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Iran has deployed additional military reinforcement along its border with the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, where a fierce battle between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces has been ongoing for more than a month now.

Several units of the Iranian Armed Froces’ 116th Brigade were sent on November 5 from Qazvin in northern Iran to the border region.

The Iranian Labour News Agency released photos of the reinforcements, which included a number of Chieftain battle tanks and M113 armored personnel carriers.

Last month, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) deployed reinforcements, including air defense systems, on the border with Nagorno-Karabakh after a series of stray fire accidents.

Back then, IRGC’Ground Force Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpoor said reinforcements were deployed to protect Iran’s national interests as well as to provide security and safety for civilians in the border area.

Initially, Iran took a neutral stand on the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, calling on both Armenia and Azerbaijan to de-escalate and engage in talks.

This policy changed two days ago when Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei backed Azerbaijan’s right to “liberate” the region. The leader, however, criticized the deployed of Syrian mercenaries there.

“Azerbaijan has the right to liberate its occupied territories and international borders must be respected, and terrorists should not be present near [Iran’s] borders,” he said in a speech marking the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.

The change in Iran’s stand was likely the result of pressure from the country’s Azeri population and the recent advance of Azerbaijani troops, which captured Nagorno-Karabakh border with Iran.

Despite voicing support for Azerbaijan, Tehran is still calling on Baku and Yerevan to reach a political settlement and end the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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