TEHRAN – Iran is ready to increase gas supplies to Armenia and begin trilateral cooperation on gas exports to Georgia. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said this after a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Tehran.
Rouhani noted that from the point of view of economic cooperation with Armenia, there is great potential that should be better realized. During the talks, as the president noted, the parties considered cooperation in the field of electric power between Iran and Armenia in a trilateral format – with Georgia, and in a quadrilateral format – with Russia. He recalled that in the field of energy between Armenia and Iran a large-scale project on the exchange of gas for electricity is being implemented.
“Another topic of discussion was the connection between the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea through Armenia. In conclusion, I must note that the most important point is that in both countries there is the desire, the potential, the will to develop relations. We instructed the responsible persons to discuss all the issues before the meeting of the intergovernmental commission,” the Iranian president said.
Another issue that is in the focus of the two countries concerns the construction of the North-South road corridor. “The Iranian side expressed its readiness to participate in this program. The focus of our attention is also the simplification of the transport system, in particular, in the field of freight traffic, ” Rouhani said.
Nikol Pashinyan also noted the importance of cooperation with Iran in the field of energy. “The President noted that Iran is ready to increase gas supplies to Armenia. Here, of course, it is important during further discussions and negotiations to come to a general agreement on the issue of price. This is a fundamentally important issue in terms of the attractiveness of the transaction. And we hope that our representatives will hold effective negotiations in this direction, ” the Armenian Prime Minister said.
According to him, Armenia is ready to cooperate with Iran on the issue of transit and become a transit country for Iranian gas. “Creating an energy corridor is also important in a bilateral and regional context, as well as more generally. There is political will to resolve these issues, and we hope that the negotiation process will be successful, ” Pashinyan added.
Over the last year, Pashinyan transformed from an Armenian opposition figure into a rational player now in power. It was he who was able to garner backing from Atlanticist interests, in order to undo the old order which has ruled Armenia since the collapse of the USSR – seen then as being ‘close to Russia’ – only to fall back upon Armenia’s historic allies, much to the chagrin of Washington D.C.