YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Armenia and Iran on Wednesday vowed to boost economic cooperation, increase bilateral trade and speed up joint energy projects including a hydro-electric power plant on their shared border.
“The high level of political relations between the countries requires corresponding activity in the economic sphere too,” Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian said at a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Majid Namjoo.
Movsisian said that construction of the hydro-electric power plant on the Arax river would begin in November.
Namjoo called for the removal of “obstacles” which have slowed the progress of implementing other joint projects like a third power transmission line between the neighbor states and a railway link.
The problems hampering the construction of the Armenia-Iran third high voltage line have been resolved, Iranian co-chairman of the Armenian-Iranian intergovernmental commission, Energy Minister Majid Namjoo said Thursday.
“The problems and obstacles have been eliminated, so at present, the Iranian contractor must make every effort to build this line,” Namjoo said after signing the Memorandum of Understanding following the eleventh meeting of the Commission in Yerevan.
Movsisian said that Namjoo’s appointment as a co-chairman of the commission has given a new impetus to the implementation of programmes, particularly the process of building a power line which will be completed rapidly.
According to the Energy Ministry, a new power line from Iran to Armenia is being constructed by Iranian company Sanir. The project cost is estimated at 100-105 million euros.
Yerevan and Tehran have agreed to hold discussions on the construction of Iranian-Armenian railway, Iran’s co-chairman of the Armenian-Iranian intergovernmental commission, Energy Minister Namjoo said.
“There is an agreement for Armenia and Iran to discuss various issues related to the construction of the railway with the participation of all concerned sides,” Namjoo said.
He said that Armenian and Iranian sides pay great attention to the railway construction.
The North-South railway (Iran-Armenia) will allow the Armenia to use the alternative route of transporting energy resources and other goods. According to the expert estimates, around $1.7-2.8 billion are required to implement the project. Russia, Iran and China are discussing the railway construction.
The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have expressed interest in the project.