Armenia has a special place in Iran’s foreign policy

Manouchehr Mottaki:

Armenia has a special place in Iran’s foreign policy

PanARMENIAN.Net - The situation around Iran’s nuclear remains tense. The recently adopted UN Security Council resolution inflicted new sanctions against the country. For Armenia, which enjoys neighborly relations with Iran and implements a number of joint programs, establishment of dialogue between Tehran and the West is extremely important. Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Manouchehr Mottaki commented to PanARMENIAN.Net on the prospects of Armenian-Iranian relations and Tehran’s approaches to regional problems, including the Karabakh conflict.
Armenian-Iranian relations are rapidly developing, specifically in energy and economy. How would you assess the political dialogue between the two countries?
Iran attaches importance to development of relations with neighbor states and Armenia has a special place in Tehran’s foreign policy. Significant progress has been registered in relations between the two countries. Mutual visits of high ranking officials as well as the document signed testify to the will to strengthen bilateral ties. Achievement of a final agreement to build transmission facilities with capacity of 400 kilowatt, a reservoir on River Araks and a hydropower plant in Meghri will help develop cooperation. I am also hopeful to witness conclusion of an agreement on construction of oil pipeline and oil terminal soon. Iran is willing to join technical projects implemented in Armenia, including the North-South transport corridor. I believe that our countries have potential to expand cooperation, specifically to develop a free trade agreement. Political and cultural relations between Tehran and Yerevan are advancing as well. During their meeting on the sidelines of various international conferences, leaders of our states do not miss the opportunity to exchange views on political issues.

Recently, media referred to Tehran’s initiatives on Karabakh conflict settlement, specifically organization of a meeting between the President of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran. Does it mean that Iran wants to join the process as a mediator?
Contribution to regional peace and security as well as resolution of conflicts in accordance with the international law is Iran’s position in principle. We stand for resolution of disputes taking into account the interests of conflicting sides. Iran’s initiatives regarding the Karabakh conflict settlement can only supplement the other endeavors to that end. We believe that all conflicts should be resolved through efforts of the countries of the region.

What is Iran’s official position on the Karabakh issue?
Iran’s official position is as follows: Iran calls on all parties to conflict to show restraint and resolve the problem peacefully. On our part, we are ready to contribute to the process.

Iran has numerously voiced support to normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. How did Iran react to Armenia's decision to suspend the process of ratification of Protocols?
Iran supports Armenian-Turkish normalization. In this context, we welcome activities seeking establishment of diplomatic relations and opening of the border between the two countries. We are confident that settlement of historical disputes should take place if all necessary conditions are created.

How does Tehran eye intensification of Turkey's mediatory efforts on Iran's nuclear file?
The statement signed on May 17, 2010 by the Foreign Ministers of Iran, Turkey and Brazil was crucial. On May 24, the Iran sent a letter to IAEA Secretary General to evidence our adherence to the letter of this document. Now, it’s the opposite side’s turn to demonstrate good will. Maximalism and pressure on Iran are inefficient. Tehran's constructive policy came across illogical and hasty actions of some European states. Turkey and Brazil helped open a dialogue on Iran’s nuclear issue and the international community should appreciate their efforts and exclude the policy of double standards.

Adoption of the 4th subsequent anti-Iranian resolution was an illegal step, aiming to prevent Iran’s progress, including development of nuclear technologies. Such approach is not only destructive and ineffective but is also viewed as nuclear discrimination.

Yekaterina Poghosyan / PanARMENIAN News
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