Alwaght- While in recent weeks and amid joint Azerbaijani-Turkish military drills Baku-Yerevan border tensions over Karabakh region resurfaced and Iranian-Azerbaijani ties went frayed, Armenian Foreign Minister arrived in Tehran on Monday in an important visit.
Iran's stabilizing role in Karabakh dispute
Undoubtedly, an important part of the attention paid to the visit of Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan to Tehran revolves around the Karabakh crisis and the recent tensions between Tehran and Baku. During the last year war between the neighbors, Iran made extensive diplomatic and mediatory efforts in order to maintain regional peace and stability and prevent the spread of war, as it at the same time defended Azerbaijani sovereignty and territorial integrity in accordance with the UN resolutions and its principal foreign policy lines. During the crisis, Iran also stressed the need for non-interference by trans-regional and regional actors seeking to strain the neighborly relations in order to advance their own interests.
So active in the region is the Israeli regime that over the past decade has been sowing sectarian division to restrict Iran's Islamic Republic discourse, which promotes resistance of the overbearing powers and independence of nations, break the decades-long geopolitical isolation it had been under, and destabilize the Iranian borders. Also, during the Baku-Yerevan war, reports said that Turkish intelligence transferred Ankara-sponsored terrorist fighters from Syrian battleground to Karabakh to assist the Azerbaijani push. Iran repeatedly warned against such moves.
This principal Iranian policy that seeks to maintain peace and stability in the region continues, and Tehran has stated that it will not tolerate changes in international borders that will destabilize the region and jeopardize the interests of neighboring countries, especially Iran.
This stable policy, which made Armenia discontented with Iran as the latter insisted that the occupied Azerbaijani territories should return to Baku, motivated Yerevan to admit— by sending its foreign minister— to the Islamic Republic's stabilizing role.
Undoubtedly, Iran has maintained its neutral position, and it is the unfriendly actions and unprofessional stances of the Baku government with the provocations of the Israeli regime that have led Tehran to take some precautionary measures to frustrate the plans some actors have designed to endanger the regional peace.
Tehran-Yerevan relations boost
The visit to Iran of the Armenian FM is of importance politically. Since Armenia's independence from the Soviet Union in the 1990s, the two countries have had friendly ties. Considering historical bonds, the Islamic Republic has massive economic ties to the Southern Caucasus republics, including Armenia. Armenia's needs and potentials in energy, transportation, mining, industry, labor force, technology, as well as its strategic geographic position, meet those of Iran and drive a productive economic partnership.
The new Iranian government has made the policy of strengthening economic cooperation and improving political relations with its neighbors a priority in its foreign policy agenda, and Central Asia was the first foreign trip destination of President Ebrahim Raisi who traveled to Tajikistan to attend the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. At present, the level of Tehran-Yerevan economic relations is not as high as the existing economic capacities of the two countries, and diplomatic trips with of officials and economic figures are necessary to explore ways to strengthen economic cooperation.
In May, Hervik Yarijanian, the head of Iran-Armenia Chamber of Commerce said that the two countries' trade in recent years ranged to $500 million, adding: "Meghri free trade zone will be opened soon in Aras region in Northwestern Iran which can boost the volume of trade between Iran and Armenia up to $1 billion."
This neighborhood provides easier conditions for bilateral trade and in less than a year can increase it to $1.2 billion, he continued.
Naturally, in addition to big growth opportunities for the regional states, interconnection of economic structures can help alleviate the tensions and block their snowballing into major crises.