TEHRAN (ARKA)–Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad-Reza Rakhimi on Monday called for a massive increase in trade, to the tune of $1 billion, between his country and Armenia during talks with visiting Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan.
According to the Armenian Government’s press office, Rakhimi said he wants trade with Armenia to increase to $1 billion. “There is no limit to boosting the relations between the two countries and Iran is ready to promote cooperation in areas of politics, medicine and health, commerce and economy,” the Iranian statesman said.
The Iranian vice-president particularly underscored the need to speed-up the construction of an Iran-Armenia railway, saying that the implementation of the railway agreements would be “a big step” towards the development of the two states, the Iranian IRNA news agency reported.
Iran and Armenia are currently implementing four joint projects: the construction of an energy pipeline, a railway linking the two countries, two hydraulic power plants on their border, and a high-voltage electricity transmission line to allow energy swaps.
Sargsyan, for his part, underlined the need to cooperate in the fields of education, health and cattle-breeding and construction in the southern Armenian province of Syunik.
The Armenian premier arrived in Tehran on Monday at the head of a delegation of government officials for a series of talks on economic cooperation.
According to Armenian government data, trade between the two countries from January-August 2010 increased by 36.8% year-on-year to $137 million.
In October, Armenia and Iran began construction of a third power transmission line which will increase the power exchange capacity between the two countries to 1,000 megawatts from the current level of 350-400 megawatts. Armenia exports electricity to Iran in return for the natural gas supplies.