Iran Armenia Reconfirm Close Ties

YEREVAN (Armenpress–Noyan Tapan)–Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Margarian met on Tuesday with an Iranian delegation–led by secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hasan Rohani. Margarian was quoted by the government press office as saying that Armenian-Iranian relations are an important factor for regional stability–peace and development.

The prime minister characterized cooperation with Iran as having a strategic importance for Armenia. "Iran’s policy toward Armenia–including its unbiased approach toward the resolution of the Karabakh conflict and its balanced regional policy are in line with Armenia’s interests," he said–adding that the two neighboring countries see eye to eye on many crucial international issues.

Margarian praised the authorities of the Eastern Atrpatakan Iranian province for launching efficient cooperation with the neighboring Armenian province of Syunik. "The Armenian-Iranian border is not a dividing line but a way to friendship and cooperation which must be strengthened by all possible means," Margarian pointed out.

Construction of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline–a tunnel in Kajaran to shorten the road linking the two countries–the opening of a border trade market along the Arax River–and putting into operation the Tabriz-Meghri-Yerevan-Tbilisi highway would give a fresh push to the development of bilateral relations said Margarian.

He also stressed the efforts of Iranian and Armenian security councils saying that the existence of a strong Iran is one of the guarantees of Armenia’s security.

According to Rohani–Iran and Armenia have huge potential for cooperation which must be used for the sake of maintaining security and development of the economy. He pointed out the importance of stability in Armenia for overall stability in the region.

The Iranian official welcomed the Armenian government’s efforts aimed at maintaining internal stability. "We are against all those programs and initiatives which will lead Armenia to isolation. In the North and South axis Armenia will use its opportunities and emphasize the importance of its role" he said.

Rohani stressed the need to involve Iran in the Karabakh peace process–pointing out that the OSCE Minsk Group has a similar approach.

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