YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Official Yerevan is closely following the developments around neighboring Iran connected with U.S. sanctions enforced against the Islamic Republic, according to a representative of the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
“We closely follow developments in this direction and are in constant contact with all the parties involved in this process,” MFA spokesperson Anna Naghdalian said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“We clearly present the issues and concerns that we have. Traditional good-neighborly relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran are of vital importance for the Republic of Armenia,” she added.
Naghdalian said that “a comprehensive expert examination of the impact of sanctions against Iran on Armenia is being carried out.”
On Monday, the United States enforced new sanctions against Iran targeting key sectors of the Islamic Republic’s economy following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw Washington from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.
U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton visited the South Caucasus nations of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan late last month in part to push for compliance with the sanctions that the United States is re-imposing on Iran’s oil and financial sectors.
In an interview with RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on October 25, Bolton said he told Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian that the Trump administration will enforce sanctions against Iran “very vigorously.” For that reason, he said, the Armenian-Iranian border is “going to be a significant issue.”
“Obviously, we don’t want to cause damage to our friends in the process,” Bolton added.
Speaking before Armenian lawmakers on November 1, Pashinian reaffirmed his government’s position that Armenia’s “special relations” with Iran, as one of the two countries, along with Georgia, that serves as a gateway for the landlocked nation to the outside world, should be “as free from geopolitical influences as possible.”
“This position was very clearly formulated also during my meeting with Mr. Bolton, and I think that the position of Armenia was clear, comprehensible, and even acceptable to representatives of the U.S. delegation,” the Armenian leader stressed.