Iran-Armenia Ties ‘Key to Regional Peace’
Iran Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has stressed the importance of bolstering amicable relations with Armenia as a key factor to regional peace and stability.
TEHRAN (combined sources)—“The expansion of friendly ties between Iran and Armenia will strengthen bilateral cooperation and play a leading role in establishing peace and stability in the region,” Larijani said in a meeting with the visiting Head of the Armenia-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group Galust Sahakyan on Monday, Press TV reports.
He urged both Tehran and Yerevan to make use of their great capabilities to increase political and economic exchanges and expressed Majlis support for enhanced bilateral cooperation in all fields, particularly in the parliamentary arena.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always put emphasis on negotiations and political dialog to resolve regional issues and problems,” Larijani stated.
The Iranian parliament speaker pointed to the age-old relations between Tehran and Yerevan, and said, “Expansion of friendly relations between Iran and Armenia, in addition to the consolidation of mutual cooperation, plays an important role in the restoration of peace and stability in the region,” Fars News Agency reported.
He called for close consultation between Iranian and Armenian officials on regional developments.
Sahakyan, for his part, voiced satisfaction in the trend of the expansion of relations between Iran and Armenia, and said, “Expansion of friendly ties between Iran and Armenia, especially in parliamentary fields, will result in the reinvigoration of all-out cooperation between the two sides.”
The Armenian lawmaker pointed to the efforts made by the Armenia-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group to boost political and economic cooperation between the two countries, and said that the Armenian parliament is ready to deepen its friendly ties with the Iranian parliament.
Earlier on Sunday, Sahakyan, in a meeting with Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi in Tehran, underscored Iran’s significant position in the region, and voiced Yerevan’s will to broaden bilateral ties with Tehran.
“Not only do senior Armenian officials regard the Islamic Republic of Iran as a neighboring country, they view it as their friend and ally in regional and international spheres,” pointed out the senior Armenian legislator, and stressed the need for further development of bilateral relations between the two friendly states.
Iran has long taken various diplomatic initiatives to expand its ties with neighboring states.
In recent years, Iran and its Northern neighbor Armenia have boosted cooperation, signed agreements on energy cooperation and agreed to cooperate in technology and research and to enhance ties in commerce and economy.
The meeting also discussed Western sanctions placed on Iran. A senior Iranian lawmaker claimed that the sanctions have backfired as they have given Tehran a strong feeling of self-reliance in different sectors.
“Through prudent management, the Islamic Republic of Iran has achieved numerous accomplishments in diverse areas of science and technology in spite of sanctions, and the countries which slapped the sanctions have suffered the most,” Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said in a meeting with Head of the Armenia-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group Galust Sahakyan.
Western countries accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of the Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.
Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions and a Western trade embargo for turning down the West’s demands to give up its enrichment of uranium.