No US pressure over relations with Iran, says Armenian PM

The US has been pressuring Iran’s neighbours to change their course as part of its so-called maximum pressure campaign on Tehran. But, Armenia says the US has come to understanding that it can’t do so.

8 September 2019
ID : 22202
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The US has been pressuring Iran’s neighbours to change their course as part of its so-called maximum pressure campaign on Tehran. But, Armenia says the US has come to understanding that it can’t do so.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (middle left), accompanied by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, holds talks with Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan (middle right) (Photo: president.ir)

Armenia’s prime minister Nikol Pashinyan has said that the United States is not placing any pressure on Armenia over its close relations with its neighbour Iran, RFE/RL’s Armenian service has reported.

Speaking in an interview with French-Armenian magazine Nouvelles d’Armenie, Mr Pashinyan said that the US “seemed to have gotten a good grasp of the issue. They have started to understand that Iran is one thing for Washington and another for Armenia.”

“At the moment we are not subject to any pressure,” he added.

Despite previous challenges from US national security advisor John Bolton, who claimed that trade along the Iranian-Armenian border would become “a significant issue,” the Armenian PM vowed to strengthen “not only economic, but political ties,” with Iran.

On September 2, Armenian news agency Armenpress reported that Mr Pashinyan had confirmed his support for joint energy projects between the two countries.

In early August, the US Commerce Department introduced sanctions against two Armenian companies for illegally exporting “sensitive items” to Iran.

The US government reimposed sanctions on Iran after US President Donald Trump decided to abandon an international agreement in 2018 aimed at blocking Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

Iran will soon formally join a Free Trade Agreeemnt (FTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), one member of which is Armenia. The two countries are now coordinating their efforts to facilitate trade within the regional organisation. 

 

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