Iranian President’s Visit to Yerevan against the Background of Israeli-Azerbaijani Rapprochement

Recently it has become known that President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani is visiting Armenia on December 21, and then visits are envisaged to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. And though the information about the visit was known to the public since October, the final date was announced on December 18.

The last few years were favorable for relations between Iran and Azerbaijan and, hence, unfavorable for Armenia partly due to Russia’s efforts. In particular, Tehran and Baku have signed a number of agreements and have started works aimed at improving railway connection, making Azerbaijan the main transit route of trade between Iran and Russia. Azerbaijan was the venue where Russia and Iran had their diplomatic meeting in summer of this year.

Besides, it has become common to have meetings on the presidential level between Iran and Azerbaijan during the last three years (at least 7 meetings between the presidents). Meanwhile, the situation is different with Armenia. Hence, it can be claimed that Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Armenia on December 21 has special importance.

It is worth noting that Tehran mentioned the exact date of Rouhani’s visit to Yerevan two days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the country. In his turn, Netanyahu had criticized Iran during his visits to Baku and Astana.  Moreover, he had called Baku a strategic ally of Israel in South Caucasus. Naturally, this was followed by Iran’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei’s criticism.

There is another interesting circumstance, namely, after his visit to Yerevan, President of Iran will leave to Astana, where Netanyahu visited a few days ago.

In sum, we can claim that finally there are favorable conditions for establishing closer relations between Armenia and Iran. And this opportunity has been created without any efforts by the Armenian side.

Nevertheless, we should realize that  Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Yerevan is not only a display of Armenian-Iranian friendship, but also result of Israeli-Iranian hostility.

Anna Pambukhchyan,
“Union of Informed Citizens”    

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