Official Visit: Ahmadinejad arrives in Yerevan

Official Visit: Ahmadinejad arrives in Yerevan


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Yerevan on Friday for an official one-day visit during which he was expected to sign agreements strengthening energy and communication relations between Armenia and its southern neighbor.
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The president was last in Armenia in 2007, and today’s visit is a rescheduling of an intended visit on June 6 this year. That trip was “mutually” postponed and the official report is that the sides needed more time to prepare documents related to today’s signing. However, the postponement also came as the United States introduced sweeping economic sanctions against Iran which, since, have been supported by US allies in Europe. Of late, the Obama administration has called on Arab oil countries to consider participating in an embargo against Iran, as relations between Iran and the US continue to deteriorate.

But as Iran’s relations with the West worsen, the friendship between Armenia and Iran deepens and is consummated in cooperation of a gas pipeline under construction crossing the border.

Armenia’s strongest ally, Russia, has mixed relations with Iran, illustrated by the superpower joining a United Nations resolution in condemnation of Iran’s nuclear energy exploitation while at the same time Russia was building the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in southern Iran, which went online this September. It is expected that “Mother Russia” will keep a keen eye on how Armenia-Iran relations develop, as the Islamic Republic has become a lightening rod of divisiveness throughout much of the world due largely to repeated controversial statements by Ahmadinejad, including anti-Semitic remarks, made from international body podiums.

In a phone conversation with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan last month, Ahmadinejad reiterated the common ground on which Tehran and Yerevan should build deeper relations.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes maximum expansion of relations between the two countries, in various cultural, economic and political grounds and welcomes any move which helps attainment of this objective,” Ahmadinejad said, according to his press office.