Iran, Armenia Share Interests In Regional Issues: 20-Year-Old Histor

Armen Israyelyan

In these days the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution is
celebrated in Iran. The Islamic Revolution began on January 8, 1978
by a large manifestation of protest of students During the whole year
the manifestations of protest held by different stata of the society
were over on February 11, 1979, headed by the founder of the Islamic
Republic of Iran Emam Khomeinia announcing the destruction of the
shahs` government and the establishment of the Islamic system.

The strategy of foreign policy of Iran was changed considerably after
the Islamic Revolution. According to the newly admitted constitution,
the execution of general provisions of foreign policy was dedicated
to the president of the Republic and the Ministry of Foreign affairs,
directed by the Supreme Leader of Iran and the Supreme commander of
AF. The principle ” No West, no East”, as well as the landmark to leave
in peace with neighbours and to conduct a policy of good neighbouring
relations were included in the agenda of foreign policy of the country
in order to exclude the presence of superpowers in the country.

In September 1991, after the crumbling of the Soviet Union, when the
independence of the Republic of Armenia was proclaimed. Iran was the
first country that officially declared the independence of Armenia
on December 26, of the same year.

On February 9, 1992, Raffi Hovhannisyan, the Armenian minister of
foreign affairs and Ali Aqbar Velayati, the minister of foreign
affairs of Iran sign in Tehran a declaration for establishing
diplomatic relations.

On February 28, 1992, Ali Aqbar Velayati, the minister of foreign
affairs of IRI makes his first official visit to Yerevan. The purpose
of the visit was to make some consulations about international and
regional problems and the Iranian deligation announces its readiness
about the regulation of the antagonism of Nagorno Karabakh to assume
its negotiating mission, as a result of which on March 16, 1992,
a document is farmed and published, which refers to the antagonism
of Karabagh, assumption of negotiating mission of IKI Velayati
makes an offer where he witnessed that Iran is ready to appear with
negotiating mission for studying the possible ways of regulation of
Karabagh antagonism.

On May 6, 1992, a delegation headed by the president of RA Levon
Ter-Petrosyan arrives in Tehran on invitation of the IRI president
Hashemi Rafsanjani. The sides negotiated about the antagonism of
Nagorno Karabakh among other questions. On May 8, 1992 the RA president
L. Ter-Petrosyan , the attorney of the president of Azerbaijan
Yaghub Mamedov, as well as the president of the negotiator country
Iran H. Rafsanjani, signed a common declaration on the regulatio
of the opposition of NK. After he high level mutual visits between
two countries, the sides decide to open embassies in each other `
s countries. In April 1992, the IRI embassy is opened in Yerevan and
in December the RA embassy is opened in Tehran. Vahan Bayburdyan is
appointed the attorney of the affairs of RA in Tehran and mutually
Bahman Ghasemi is the attorney of the affairs of IRI in Yerevan.

In 1994, the Armenian- Iranian relations are raised to the level
of ambassadors and Hamid Reza Niqqar Esfahani is appointed the
ambassador , who is then replaced by Mohammad Farhad Qoleyni and
Alireza Haghighia. Actually Ali Saghaian is the IRI ambassador in RA.

Vahan Bayburdyan, who was formerly the RA attorney becomes the first
ambassador of the third Republic of Armenia in Iran. During the
following years the last is replaced by Gegham Gharibjanyan and Karen
Nazaryan. Actually Grigor Araqelyan is the RA ambassador in Tehran.

In order to develop the economic – commercial relations between
Iran and Armenia a bridge is being built on the river Araks after
the exploitation of which Iran becomes a transit way for Armenia
to the transmission of loads to the countries of Persian Gulf. The
transmissions of loads are increased for 3-4 times.

More than 200 Armenian- Iranian enterprises started working actively
in Armenia. Thanks to the economic interaction, Iran holds the first
place in the exterior commerce of Armenia. A branch establishment
of the Iranian bank ” Mellat” is opened in Yerevan. The aerial
communication between two countries was realized by the Iranian
companies ” Aria Tour”, “Caspian” and ” Armenian air roads”.

On 1995, corresponding agreements are made about the Iranian-Armenian
gasmain, the high volt line of transmission line, the building of
the common hydroelectric power station on the river Araks.

On 25-27 December, 2007, a delegation headed by the second Armenian
president Robert Kocharyan visited Iran for four days and had meetings
with the IRI Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, president seyyed Mohammad
Khatami, minister of foreign affairs Qamal Kharazi and minister of
defense Ali Shamkhani.

On September 8-9, 2004, the IRI president seyyed Mohammad Khatami
makes a return official visit to Armenia. In the frames of the visit
to Armenia, M. Khatami visited also he monument of the Armenian
genocide to pay respect to the innocent martyrs that are victims of
the genocide.

Generally, the mutual visits executed in the level of presidents
certified the dynamic development of bilateral relations. On July5 ,
2006, the president R. Kocharyan made a labour visit to Iran, where
he meets the newly elected president of IRI Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

On March 19, 2007, the official ceremony of the opening of the
gasmain is held in participation of the RA and IRI presidents, and
by the end of 2008, the building of the second part of the Iran-
Armenia gasmain is finished.

In October 2007, the IRI president Mahmud Ahmadinejad arrives
in Armenia for a two days` visit. During the visit in Yerevan a
memorandum of mutual understanding between Iran and Armenia is signed,
the sides appear with a common declaration. The president of Iran is
granted with a nomination of an honourable doctor of the Yerevan State
University. On April 13, 2009, the Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan
`s official visit to Tehran revived the Armenian-Iranian relations.

During it the president of Armenia had meetings with the IRI Supreme
leader seyyed Ali Khamenei, president Mahmud Ahmadinejad, president
of Mejlis Ali Larijani and the Secretary of the Supreme Council of
National Security S. Jalili.

The RA president specially mentioned that Iran had proved many times
that is a confident friend having a pivotal importance for Armenia. In
Serzh Sargsyan`s words Armenia has always felt the support of Iran
and in the years of blockade the emergent products were imported to
Armenia by the territory of Iran.

The president Serzh Sargsyan`s next labour visit to Iran took place on
March 27, 2011. During the meeting the presidents of two countries gave
importance especially to the successfully developing interaction in
energetics, transport, culture and some other domains , they reverted
also to the project of the building of the Iran -Armenia railway. In
the frames of his visit to Tehran Serzh Sargsyan took part also in
the celebrations organized for the holiday of Novruz.

In December 2011, the IRI president Mahmud Ahmadinejad makes a return
visit to Armenia. In the frames of the visit agreements concerning
the increase of the volumes of commerce circulation, development of
substructures, economy, energetics, transport, industry and domains
of investment were signed.

Afterwards, the presidents of Armenia and Iran appeared with a common
declaration expressing contentment for high level relations between the
Republic of Armenia and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The relations
are based on the friendship of many centuries of the nations. The
presidents reaffirmed their decisiveness to continue developing the
bilateral friendly mutually profitable relations.

On February 9, 2012 was the 20th anniversary of the establishment of
diplomatic relations of Iran and Armenia. The political, economic and
cultural relations of two countries develop year by year, including
new programs.

Now, in the working agenda of the governments of two countries are
the projects of building of the passageway Iran- Armenian, railroad,
oil-pipeline, the electric power stations on the river Araks that will
be built with the help of the loan provided by the Asian development
bank, about the realization of which corresponding agreements were
signed and now the preparatory works of the realization of the above
mentioned projects are done. Iran and Armenia collaborate actively
also in international organizations , the points of views of two
countries about the problems of region coincide. During the meetings
of the presidents of Armenia and Iran the point of view, according
to which all the countries, including Iran, have the right of using
nuclear energy peacefully, is underlined.

Let us mention, that Iran , the first negotiator country involved
in the regulation of the antagonism of NK, has conducted and
conducts a balanced policy which is appreciated greatly by the
Armenian government. It must be mentioned, that the role of the
Armenian community in Iran, that was given exclusive rights and
opportunities after the Islamic revolution in Iran, is on the basis
of the development of the relations of Iran and Armenia. The Armenian
churches and historical monuments are conserved and restored by the
direct support of the government of Iran. According to the constitution
of the country the Armenian community in Iran is represented also in
the IRI Mejlis by its two representatives.

Studying the past and present of the political relations of Armenia
with its direct neighbour and friend Iran , particularly analyzing the
20 year` s history of diplomatic relations of Armenia and Iran , we can
state that both countries have the power to continue developing their
political, economic and cultural relations during the next decades.

From: Baghdasarian

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