Rouhani's re-election is in Armenia's interests, says expert

16:01 • 22.05.17



Hassan Rouhani's re-election as the president of Iran is in Armenia’s interests politically and economically, according to Vardan Voskanyan, a Yerevan-based expert in Iranian studies.


At a news  conference on Monday, Voskanyan described the outcome as absolutely perceivable, noting that a change in the country's top leadership would necessitate further changes also in the Iranian-Armenian relations. The expert said he now sees big proespects for the realization of joint projects.


“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s re-election was, in a kind of way, timed to meet Armenia’s interests. If a new president were elected, they would have to form a  new cabinet and outline future policies. Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent and the re-elected president, is an absolutely perceivable and predictable personality who already has a certain experience of a successful cooperation with Armenia. Yet, I have to mention that Iran’s political agenda is going to change. Although Rouhani secured a considerable number of votes – much more than he did in the previous election - the expectations among the Iranians have now increased with respect to the country’s liberalization, economic achievements etc. The Rouhani administration can be said to have fulfilled all the clauses in the political agenda, increasing, particularly, its influence. None of the countries in the Middle East region today practically provide cardinal solutions to problems without Iran,” he said, noting that the Islamic Republic strengthened its positions also on the international arena.


Voskanyan also praised the success in the realization of earlier joint projects.


“Those achievements are on different levels. While the successfully developing energy cooperation is the steamliner of the Iranian-Armenian relations, there are a range of other areas which leave much to be desired. Among them, particularly, are the communication channels. Rouhani himself stated earlier that Iran treats Armenia as a key country in the corridor project potentially connecting the Persian Gulf with the Black Sea. So we must, with maximum rapid efforts, realize the first component of those communication channels i.e. to complete [the construction of] the North-South highway,” he said.


Voskanyan also stressed the importance of the joint railway project, and further efforts towards developing cooperation with the country in the trilateral and quadrilateral formats (involving Georgia, as well as Russia and Turkmenistan upon necessity).

 

“Our country and Iran are conducting negotiations over the Armenia-Iran-Turkmenistan natural gas pipeline. We are again negotiating a trilateral natural gas agreement with Georgia,  and have already recorded a certain progress. The format allows for upgrading Armenia’s role across the region. It is important also to rapidly accomplish the free trade area project in the Syunik region.  We have a tremendous potential to realize [our plans] in succession. Iran is willing to collaborate with us in the realization of those projects,” he added.  

 

Ani Ohanyan





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