Tehran: SNSC In Favor Of Boosting Relations With Armenia: Rowhani

SNSC In Favor Of Boosting Relations With Armenia: Rowhani

Tehran Times, Iran
June 23 2004

TEHRAN (IRNA) — Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council
(SNSC) Hasan Rowhani said on Tuesday that the SNSC is in favor of
boosting of Iran’s relations with Armenia.

In a meeting with chief of Armenian presidential office Artash
Tumanyan, Rowhani said that Iran regards development of relations
with Armenia as being in line with helping regional cooperation to
restore peace and security to the entire region.

“Yerevan has special status in Iranian history and Iran is willing
to boost the historical relations between the two countries,”
Rowhani said.

He said that signing an accord on setting up of a gas pipeline between
the two countries is a fundamental step forward towards deepening
cooperation in the energy sector.

He said that establishment of Gajeran Tunnel will link Armenia to
the North-South Corridor and Iran to the Black Sea as well.

On the economic development in the Caucasus, Rowhani said that
economic development will be impossible without peace and security
and collective cooperation of the regional states at the highest
possible level should focus on regional stability..

Tumanyan said that Iran and Armenia have developed excellent relations
since the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1990 and the upcoming
visit of President Mohammad Khatami to Armenia in September would be
a turning point in bilateral relations.

He underlined the importance of north-south corridor and called for
Iranian support for Armenia joining the corridor.

Tumanyan said that signing the accord on laying a gas pipeline between
the two countries is a victory and hoped that the pipeline would be
operational within the next two years.

“Technical and feasibility studies on Gajeran Tunnel have been
completed and the project is ready for signature,” Tumanyan said.

He said that Tehran-Yerevan relations are essential for regional
security and that Iran has special status in the foreign policy
of Armenia.

Tumanyan also conferred on Tuesday with Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi
on issues of mutual interest.

Describing the current level of political relations as satisfactory,
Kharrazi voiced satisfaction over the outcome of Iran-Armenia Economic
Commission meeting and hoped to witness further expansion of economic
and commercial cooperation to a desirable level.

The Armenian envoy, for his part, described bilateral economic
activities as ‘fruitful’ and said the already reached agreements
between the sides would have positive impacts on mutual relations.