Iran shares Armenia’s stance on Karabakh peace but remains ‘ostensibly neutral’, says Armenian editor

16:38 • 13.03.18

Pan-Turkism on the whole runs counter to the state policies of Iran, but the country’s diplomacy demonstrates an adequate restraint to resolve the existing problems in a very silent manner, says Derenik Melikyan, the editor on chief of the Tehran-based Armenian daily Alik.

According to him, the Islamic Republic’s stance on the Armenian Genocide and the Nagorno-Karabakh issue are in line with Armenia’s desires, but the country’s maintains ostensible neutrality to avoid stirring up hysteria among its 30 million Turkish-speaking population.

In an interview with, Melikyan also highlighted the community’s sensitiveness to pan-national issues.


“The Armenians are actively involved in the solution of problems of a nation-wide importance. In particular, we express our views on the existing positions in Iran’s foreign policy. If we, as a daily publication, feel that we must express our viewpoint on a specific issue, we simply raise it. Iran, which has a population of 80 million, has a Turkish-speaking segment of about 25-30 million. Whenever they make attempts to propagate pan-Turkish ambitions, we raise the problem in an effort to highlight its hazards for not only the community but also for Iran,” he explained.

Melikyan said he strongly believes that the Iranian authorities’ diplomatic neutrality has a serious contributing role in terms of ruling out separatism inside the country.  

The journalist further addressed the pressing economic problems which he said cause many Iranian-Armenians to leave the Islamic Republic. “Those economic problems directly impact also the Armenian community. It is a kind of universal problem which a raised a wave of protest across the country.  We too, have expressed our discontent and tried to voice our opinion though our lawmakers represented in parliament, as well as through Alik. Armenians leave Iran because of economic problems. The youth have no prospect for the future. Thousands of Armenians have left - not only for the purpose of finding a job but also in the status of refugees. [US President] Donald Trump’s [migration] policies now prevent them from leaving; many are waiting to get visas,” he said, citing further the tough living standards as another demotivating reason.


“Anyway our community is viable as we have Armenian schools, cultural institutions and so on,” Melikyan added.

Tigranuhi Martirosyan


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