Armenia trafficked drugs to Europe for 30 years through the previously occupied territories of Karabakh with the help of Iran, President Ilham Aliyev said Friday.
“Azerbaijan has shut down the drug trafficking route from Iran to Armenia, and then to Europe, that used to pass through the Jabrayil district,” said Aliyev during a speech at a session of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
“The volume of heroin we have seized in other areas of the Azerbaijani-Iranian border has doubled compared to the same period last year. This means that, for about 30 years, Armenia, along with Iran, used the formerly occupied territories of Azerbaijan for drug trafficking to Europe,” he added.
Baku and Tehran have recently traded barbs over the alleged presence of “third-party” forces presumed to be Israel near the border with Iran, which has been categorically denied by Azerbaijan, amid a reported military build-up on the Iranian side.
Furthermore, in September, Azerbaijan's president had stated that Iranian trucks have been illegally entering the Karabakh region on a regular basis since before the region was liberated from Armenian occupation last fall.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
New clashes erupted last September and ended on Nov. 10 with a Russian-brokered cease-fire.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages, including Jabrayil, from Armenia's nearly three-decade occupation.