Armenia Hoping for Peaceful Resolution to Iran Standoff

Presidents Serzh Sarkisian (L) of Armenia and Mahmud Ahmadinejad of Iran meet in Tehran on April 13, 2009

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia said on Thursday that it is closely monitoring the intensifying standoff between Iran and world powers and hoping for its “peaceful” resolution.

“Armenia is attentively following the developments unfolding over Iran’s nuclear program and believes that all contentious issues must be resolved by means of peaceful negotiations,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan said in a carefully worded and short statement to the Armenpress news agency.

“We hope that further efforts by Iran and the international community will lead to mutually acceptable solutions,” he said.

As was the case during previous upsurges of tension between the Islamic Republic and the West, official Yerevan avoided criticizing Tehran for the latest crisis or urging it not to defy the international community. Nor did it comment on implications of harsher U.N. sanctions against Iran for Armenia’s close political and especially economic relations with its big Muslim neighbor.

A resolution adopted by the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday called for measures against new Iranian banks abroad if a connection to the nuclear or missile programs is suspected, as well as vigilance over transactions with any Iranian bank, including the central bank. It also expanded a U.N. arms embargo against Tehran and blacklisted about two dozen Iranian business entities.

According to Reuters, Western diplomats believe that the resolution gives the EU, United States and allies a legal basis to impose their own much tougher measures. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said shortly before the U.N. vote that the resolution could clear a way for individual states and the EU to block foreign firms expanding Tehran’s oil and gas exports and impose other curbs on business activity.

Yet significantly for Armenia, the U.N. resolution spares Iran’s energy sector. Energy is the main area of growing Armenian-Iranian economic cooperation.

Armenia began importing Iranian natural gas through a newly built pipeline in May 2009 and is planning more multimillion-dollar energy projects with Iran. Those include the construction of a pipeline to deliver Iranian petrol to Armenia and a hydro-electric station on the Arax river marking Armenian-Iranian border.

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22 Comments

  1. john papazian said:

    Send that photo to FOX News and see what happens.America all but denies us,Iran denies the Jews,and the happy American idiot will thinking(yeah right,Americans thinking) we are the enemy.I’ld be half way to Getmo if some of these hay seeds had thier way.Maybe the Jews will bomb us to when they attack Iran,just because we have a relationship with Iran.

  2. Avetis said:

    Davajan Serik should not be trusted by Iran. First Serik will sell Artsakh, then he will sell Armenia, then he will sell Iran, then he will sell his fancy furniture in his presidential palace and his Benz and then he will run away to the Bahamas!!! Trust me, I know what I am talking about. All my life I am in ARF politicals. This will happen!!!

  3. john papazian said:

    The problem is that a vast majority of Americans have no clue,trust me I know what I’m talking about.Back in 1979 one photograph of Armenians protesting in Iran got me labled as “one of them”.You say ARF to an American and they’ll think your barking.If Iran turns out and acknowledges the genocide (not very likley) Armenia will be caught in political no mans land even more so than we already are.

  4. Hovik M. said:

    What are you afraid of?! For many years Iran was the only neighbored with Russia to help Armenia by any means especially during Karabakh war. Who do you think is trustable, Israel or United State?! None of them act positive or recognize Armenian Genocide since today even more they act against of Armenians in different forums. I can trust just the neighbors [Iran and Russia] because they are trustworthy. Need to mention for 400 years Armenians [minorities] lived in Iran without any problem ever.

  5. Hayk said:

    Hay Avetis!
    Do you know to wright any thing ales.
    Every day I read comments You wright same sicko words every day.
    I say you need mental check up.
    Please go to mental institution if you are not there already.
    Thank you

  6. AS said:

    Fortunately or unfortunately, we need Iran and Russia for our survival. Neither Georgia, Turkey, or Azerbaijan can be trusted in any way, shape or form!

  7. Grish Begian said:

    Dear John,
    For the best Armenia should stay “neutral” and keep certain distance away from IRI Government..
    remember we are surrounded with sea of Muslims and US is fully aware of that..
    FYI …the previous Iranian president Mr. Khatami laid flower at Tsitsernakaberd Memorial..

  8. Nairian said:

    I maintain that Iran is our only neighbourly country. We do business with them and they are far more to be trusted than Turkey, “azerbaijan” or Georgia. We are attached to them through our Syunik region and we are thankful for that.

  9. Norin Radd said:

    Iran has had far more opportunities to hurt, damage, or geopolitically betray Armenia since independence, but it has not and has maintained a fairly consistent policy. On the other hand, our more traditional neighbors, namely Georgia, has made lots of damaging maneuvers and its latest treatment of Javakh Armenians is no exception to their bad track record as a “good neighbor” for us.

    Of course we have to approach Iran and every nation with caution in dealing with them, but of all the regional neighbors we do have, they have been most consistent and most credible despite our Christian/Muslim differences. Whether you like President Sarkisyan or not, this latest move of neutrality is an intelligent decision.

  10. Ed Greg said:

    I will have to agree with Hayk on this one, my dear Avetis you are such a doom merchant and love your Serj bashing! Give it a rest. I am also from the diaspora but i happen to think that given the current circumstances he is doing a good job. We (diaspora) can be selfish sometimes and think we know what is best for our country. We, should do everything we can to help Turkey join the EU because we will be the second country who would benefit the most by Turkey’s accession. The EU, changes countries from within and this is what Turkey needs and not external pressure.

    Serj was elected to lead by the Armenians of Armenia, by the way during the elections most international observers concluded that there were no major voting violations, so the people chose him and have given him the chance. Please stop with all your negativity and give the man a chance. I dont think we are going backwards under his presidentship but on the contrary I believe we have excelled economically and in foreign policy. My dear Avetis maybe you need to read a few chapters from Dale Carnegie – let me help you by giving you one very important principle – Dont Criticise, Condemn or Complain.

    With regards to Iran, we have always had good relations with our Iranians brothers, after all we were all brothers in arms and happy pegans dancing around the fire until the Armenians in a way betrayed everyone in the region and shifted to Christianity. The Armenians are appreciated and well respected in Iran, and as long as there is mutual respect we will continue to have good relations.

    Ed

  11. manooshag said:

    Hye, Iranians have been a nation in the Middle East who has always recognized the Armenians…
    thankfully, as an advanced and cultured peoples. Too, the Armenians have always recognized the Iranians, too, for their peaceful, advanced culture and steadfast friendship for Armenians. Both nations are the ‘islands’ of sanity in the midst the disarray.. between the Turk and the Israelis.
    Too, the Turks PLOYS, Turks lies, and Turk deceit, and Turkish denials of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation (1890s-2010)… Turks still seek to eliminate the Armenians – having perpetrated the Armenian Genocide, a Turkey still perisists in seeking to end the existence of Armenians… Ottoman mentality still… still of the hordes who came from the Asian mountains.
    seeking the lands and the refinements of the advanced and ancient Armenian nation – which the Turks, even today, still claim all Armenian culture as if the Turks brought these from Asia – as being Turkish!!
    (Turks have not even a history of their own from mountains). Turks’ existence is ‘today only’ – and what is today, is to known as the nation who has committed Genocides from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries –
    now, today the slaughter and worse of the Kurds – another Genocide – always inhumanity against humans.
    For what else has history of the Turks offered to the world – only Genocides – man’s inhumanity to man!
    Manooshag

  12. Alex Manukyan said:

    In my opinion, for Armenia stand point, no one can be trusted, so the RoA must be very careful. Trust of Turks turned into genocide, Trust of Persian (aka Iran) has turned into massive massacres in past centuries. Trust of Russians has turn into soviet slavery and robbery of our nation materialistically and brain drain. It’s this trust that screwed Armenians over and over and over in history. Trust only in your own nation, not others. Experience of running your own country is best thing in the world for a nation. RoA remained neutral for one reason MONEY!!! That’s what it needs jobs and money! We got the human potential all there, but the improving economy will be the key to greater power and influence in the region.

  13. Vacheh said:

    Armenian community in Iran has been the only community that has not suffered from genocide. Iranian-Armenians have lived there for nearly 400 years in peace and with friendly relationship to Muslims there. Armenians in Iran are perhaps among the most trusted people in a population of 70-75 million.

    During the 1992-1994 war, the truck loads of food from Iran prevented us from starving. Those were not donations, and Armenia paid for that food, but Iranians kept their border with us open and allowed the food to enter Armenia. Iran’s interest in the Caucuses falls in line with Armenia’s interests.

    I have Iranian colleagues at work which they respect us a lot and they always say that Iranians and Armenians are the same people. The Arabs (Omar-ebne-Khataab) was able to concur Iran 1300 years ago, but couldn’t make it to Armenia due to the mountains in and around Armenia. Besides that, the origins of the two nations is the same. I hope that a balanced approach by the Armenian government will retain the friendly relationship with Iran for ever. Iranians are hospitable people with kindness and with a progressive vision towards the future.

  14. Grish Begian said:

    Dear Vacheh,
    I fully agree with you …Iran’s Armenians are the most trusted and respected society in Persian culture…even outside of Iran, Persians still are friendly with Armenians..
    all historical churches and Armenian monuments are renovated and registered at UNESCO…

  15. john papazian said:

    What should Iran be punished for? Standing up? Ireal has had nukes pointed at Iran for decades.Besides how can Iran nuke Isreal without destroying Jeruslem and iradiating the Palistinians? I like Iranians,but they’ve made some bad decisions,denial of history,claiming bloodlust as a holy war,and trusting the Turks.They could turn things up side down by backing off on the “wipe Isreal off the face of the earth” crap.But then again Isreal could take a high road too and stop stealing Palistinian land for settlements.No the Turks will never own up but if Iranians hint at ackowledgment before the US and acknowledges the second go round in the 20th centry the pressure is all on the US and Isreal then,isn’t it?

  16. Grish Begian said:

    Gelat, A double standard Turkey has the same face that you have as a Turk….a converted Mongolian Turk…..

  17. Edward said:

    Yeeees Serj will sell everything ,before running not to the Bahamas but to the soviet union and guess who will be the buyer-Avedis,the next president of independent Armenia with Gelat for prime-minister.

  18. john papazian said:

    I guess the $64000 dollar question is If Iran and the US go to war, ‘cuase of Isreal,what side will we take? I’m always taken aback by the total and absolute disreguard many have for the overall or big picture.Does anybody relize the absolute ignorance the vast majority of Americans have? If Armenia is seen in the slightist as having a freindly relationship with Iran,every redneck and homie will think were the enemy to. My senior year in high school was a exersize in staying under the radar.1980 sucked.Does anybody think any American politician could survive supporting Armenia in an election year if Iran and the US go to war? I know what some are thinking,but the fact remains,Americans just don’t have any idea what to think or believe. Freindly relations with Iran will work for Armenia as long as it stays out of mainstream American media,like FOX News or the Glen Beck show.

  19. sergeb33 said:

    Armenia is doing the right thing. Iran is Armenia’s only friend in the neighborhood, and I don’t think Iran is a threat. Iran says they are using nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, the US should take their word for it.

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