As Azerbaijani forces continue to impede the transport of cargo and commercial vehicles from Iran to Armenia, Iran’s Ambassador in Yerevan Abbas Badakhshan Zohouri voiced his concerns about the future of this important trade route.
Speaking to Armenia’s National Security Council head Armen Grigoryan on Wednesday, Zohouri said the current situation on the highway is creating obstacles for the normal flow of transit and cargo.
After blockading a portion of the Goris-Kapan highway late last month, Azerbaijani forces set up a check point, and last week began stopping Iranian vehicles to check the drivers identification, inspect the cargo and impose taxes—tolls-for the use of the road. The Azerbaijani forces monitoring the check point arrested two Iranian truck drivers last week, and, according to reports some 100 Iranian trucks have been grounded in that stretch of the highway.
It became apparent that a 13-mile section of the Goris-Kapan highway was ceded to Azerbaijan in late December by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who had made the decision outside of the framework of the November 9 agreement.
Grigoryan told Zohouri that Armenia realizes the sensitivity of the issue for Iran and emphasized the need to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
Touching upon the issue of cargo transportation from India to the North Sea, the sides stressed the importance of the Iranian port of Chabahar, adding that Armenia is an important link on that route.
Zohouri also said that Armenia-Iran relations are a successful model of cooperation, which have undergone a noticeable qualitative change in recent years. The two discussed ways to strengthen and intensify the cooperation between the two counteries, touching on economic and energy-related issues.