YEREVAN (Armenpress)-Azerbaijan would be subjected to sever sanctions if an international fact-finding mission were to conduct excavations in Nakhichevan, the Head of the Atrpetakan Armenian Church Diocese in Iran told Armenpress on Thursday.
This is why they do not allow international investigators into Old Jugha (Julfa), he added.
"If UNESCO conducts excavations there, it will see that not only the old Armenian cemetery but also churches, chapels and other monumen’s were destroyed," Bishop Nshan Topuzian said. "A visit by a fact-finding mission will be a great victory for the restoration of justice and historical truth."
He said the diocese has recorded video footage that shows the willful destruction by Azeri soldiers of thousands of Armenian cross-stones in the Old Jugha cemetery by
On December 15, 2005 the Armenian embassy in Tehran, Iran, received a telephone call from the Atrpatakan Diocese that dozens of Azeri soldiers armed with sledge hammers and machines were destroying Armenian cross stones in the Old Jugha cemetery, located across the border with Iran.
The cross stones being destroyed were the same stones saved from vandalism three years earlier The cross stones were destroyed and removed to make room for the construction of a shooting range.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry asked the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and UNESCO last year to dispatch missions to assess the situation of Armenian monumen’s in the area. But a PACE mission that was to visit the area in August 2007, was delayed indefinitely after Azerbaijan refused to allow the delegation access to Nakhichevan.