Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Armenia today as part of a regional five-nation tour. During today’s visit,
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Armenia today as part of a regional five-nation tour.
During today’s visit, Zarif is set to discuss a wide variety of issues including developments in Nagorno-Karabakh, expanding energy trade and increasing economic cooperation. Although Iran remained neutral throughout the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Yerevan has been one of Iran’s staunchest allies, frequently disregarding sanctions imposed on Tehran. Zarif now looks to walk the fine line of reconciling relations between Iran’s historic ally while maintaining a neutral stance towards Azerbaijan.
Expect Zarif to push for increased bilateral cooperation between Tehran and Yerevan. To ameliorate current tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia, it is highly likely Zarif will propose that Iranian peacekeeping forces assist in maintaining the current ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh; though, as Moscow has established its position there, it is unlikely Tehran will be taken up on its offer. Instead, expect deepening economic cooperation, perhaps through further mutual investment into the Iranian and Armenian private sectors and negotiating terms for long term gas-for-electricity-trade. Also long-term, as Yerevan struggles to maintain firm regional alliances, Tehran will likely find success in pulling Armenia deeper into its sphere of influence.
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