TEHRAN (Tasnim) – In line with Iran’s new government’s policy of promoting relations with neighboring countries, the country’s energy minister was in Armenia on Friday where he met with President Serzh Sargsyan and other Armenian officials to discuss ways of enhancing bilateral ties.
“We consider these relations (Iran-Armenia) as unique and wish to deepen them. I think that your visit to the Republic of Armenia is a sign of the similar wish by the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said President Sargsyan during his meeting with Iran’s Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian.
In the meeting, also attended by Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisyan, the officials discussed implementation of energy programs as part of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two neighbors.
Movsisyan, too, said that there is no political problem in the two countries’ relations, and Yerevan makes every effort to further expand economic and cultural ties with Iran.
Chitchian for his part reaffirmed his country’s desire and readiness to deepen ties with Armenia, stressing that the development of relations with neighbors, including Armenia, is one of the priorities of the Iranian foreign policy.
The important thing to do now is entering the executive phase of two macro-scale energy projects in the power field, he said.
Tehran and Yerevan have established growing energy ties in recent years. Iran has exchanged over 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas with Armenia’s electricity over the past six years.
Last year, Iran bartered some 480 million cubic meters of gas for Armenian electricity, the largest amount of such exchange between Iran and that neighboring country in six years.
The Armenian government is also building a second, bigger highway leading to the Iranian border in the hope of boosting trade with Iran.
In early August, President Hassan Rouhani said in a meeting with his Armenian counterpart, who had taken part in his inauguration cetemony, that Tehran was after strengthening relations with Yerevan.
“Tehran’s effort will be focused on enhancement of relations (with Armenia) and raising the level of cooperation in all fields,” Rouhani said on August 5.
He also pointed to cultural commonalities between the two neighboring countries, and said, “Relations between Iran and Armenia have been always friendly, close and on the basis of fulfillment of mutual interests.”
Chitchian and his Armenian counterpart signed three energy-related agreements during the latter’s visit to Iran earlier this month.
Chitchian said the new agreements were related to bartering electricity for natural gas, construction of a new hydroelectric power plant on the border river, Aras, and further electricity exchanges between the two countries.
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