Expert on Iranian studies sees readiness for long-term cooperation in political messages made from Iran and Armenia
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 17, ARMENPRESS. 2018 was quite a difficult year for Iran from economic, political and security perspectives, Armen Israyelyan – expert on Iranian studies, told a press conference in ARMENPRESS, adding that the current situation around Iran is not only linked with the US sanctions.
“There is an impression that the whole Iran has a common position on the US sanctions, but this is not so at all. In most cases the external issues are a result of the domestic problems. For instance, in summer the opposition forces launched no-confidence process against the President of Iran. And this was linked with the developments taking place both in Iran and outside the country”, he said.
Armen Israyelyan said overall Hassan Rouhani’s government managed to settle the financial crisis. It also managed to make radical changes in the Central Bank and the public administration system.
Talking about the Armenia-Iran relations, the expert noted that the year was quite interesting for the two countries. After the revolution in Armenia the leaders of the two countries met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, which was followed by their telephone conversations, and the Iranian’s President’s special envoy also arrived in Armenia. As for the economic relations, Armen Israyelyan said the positive figures are maintained. This year the turnover of goods exported from Iran to Armenia increased by nearly 48%.
“But this is not enough. The trade turnover of the two countries doesn’t exceed 300 million USD, which is less as the two countries have a great potential to further increase it”, the expert said, stating that the political messages from Iran and Armenia show that both are ready for long-term and prospective cooperation.
Political scientist Liana Hovhannisyan touched upon the US sanctions on Iran, stating that the US has expectations from the regional countries in this regard. She said it was not a coincidence that during the regional visit of US president’s advisor John Bolton the issues linked with Iran were also on the agenda.
“While examining the statement of the US official in the three countries of the region, we see that if there are talks in Azerbaijan to jointly restrain Iran, this emphasis doesn’t exist in case of Armenia, which shows that the current leadership of Armenia have presented some reservations which has been perceivable”, she said.
The political scientist highlighted that the US-South Caucasus relations in 2018 have been quite active. And this activeness was mostly demonstrated in the second half of 2018 when US high-ranking officials visited South Caucasus. These were mainly cognitive visits, the US administration wanted to know the position of the authorities of the South Caucasian countries on different issues.
“During his regional visit US presidential advisor John Bolton made a number of important highlights. If in Georgia’s case more importance was attached to the security cooperation, in the case of Azerbaijan the energy cooperation was emphasized. And as for Armenia, the main highlights related to democracy, development of civil society and fight against corruptionl”, the political scientist said.
As for the Armenian-American relations, Liana Hovhannisyan said the year was active. The United States positively reacted to the recent domestic political developments in Armenia. The next key factor was the appointment of new ambassadors from both sides which will give new impetus to the relations.
Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan