Armenia to boost trade, energy ties with Iran
YEREVAN – Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoArmenia and Iran today 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 neighbour states and a railway link.
“It’s necessary to take every step to overcome these obstacles and move forward,” he said.
Christian Armenia has been seeking to increase links with Muslim Iran because it is suffering from long-term political disputes with two of its other neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan, which have led to an economic blockade and closed borders.
Iran, which is laboring under increasingly tight sanctions imposed by Western nations over its nuclear programme, has also been interested in developing trade ties with Armenia.
However Armenia’s central bank in August rejected allegations that Iran has been using Armenian financial institutions to dodge international sanctions.