YEREVAN — A senior Iranian delegation lead by Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani met with Armenian Government leaders in Yerevan on Thursday to reaffirm Tehran’s opposition to “geopolitical changes” in the South Caucasus and support for Armenian sovereignty over transit roads passing through Armenia.
Ali Shamkhani met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his Armenian opposite number for talks that focused on regional security and Armenian-Iranian economic cooperation.
“Ali Shamkhani emphasized that Iran considers any attempt to change the geopolitical situation in the region unacceptable and noted that his country also supports the process of unblocking [transport] infrastructures within the framework of preserving the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states,” Pashinyan’s press office said in a statement on the talks.
PM Pashinyan welcomed Shamkhani’s visit to Armenia, attaching importance to the continuous development of friendly and brotherly relations with Iran.
“High-level mutual visits are important for solving this issue. I am happy to note that we have managed to create a very good working atmosphere with the Iranian President, Mr. Raisi. I am happy to see that there are also good working relations between our other partners, which is appropriate for two neighboring and friendly states,” Nikol Pashinyan said. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that Shamkhani’s visit will be effective in the context of the issues on the bilateral agenda
According to the Armenian government statement, Shamkhani told Pashinyan that Iran is ready to deepen ties with Armenia “in all spheres.” The two men stressed in that regard the importance of increasing bilateral trade and implementing joint energy and transport projects.
The official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Shamkhani as telling Armen Grigoryan, the secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, that Tehran sees “no limitations for expanding bilateral ties as the Iranian and Armenian nations have over the past decades backed each other in difficult times at the regional and international levels.”
Grigoryan’s office said the two officials stressed the importance of Chabahar, an Iranian cargo port in the Gulf of Oman, “in the context of Armenian-Iranian relations and especially the development of Syunik.”
India has built two terminals at Chabahar to bypass Pakistan in cargo traffic with Iran, Afghanistan and central Asian countries.
Meeting in Yerevan last October, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar called for establishing an Armenian-Indian transport link passing through Chabahar. Mirzoyan said the Iranian port could be used for cargo shipments to not only Armenia but also neighboring Georgia, Russia and even Europe.
An Indian-Armenian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation held its latest session in Yerevan earlier this week.