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. That same day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a press conference, “Because of the sanctions we are announcing today, Iran will have zero oil revenue to spend on terrorism, missile proliferation, regional proxies, or a nuclear program.”
In a statement released November 6, spokesperson from the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Anna Naghdalyan said her department would be “closely monitoring” these developments and how it will affect Armenia’s relationship with Iran. Though Armenia’s border with Iran stretches only 27.34 miles, the country is one of few neighboring allies. As a result, its economic partnership has always been a strategic one.
The statement read in part, “Traditional friendly relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran are of vital importance to the Republic of Armenia. A comprehensive examination of the effects the new sanctions against Iran will have on Armenia is currently being conducted.”
According to the local news outlet Armenpress, deputy foreign minister Karen Nazaryan also made comments to reporters, stating “relations with Iran never develop at the expense of third countries.”
“The issue of international sanctions against Iran is quite a sensitive topic for Armenia. We have always provided full support to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action which was signed by Iran and the respective partner states. Continuation of traditional, mutually beneficial and friendly relations with our neighbor country is very important for us. In the relations with its partner states, Armenia has always been guided with the principle to develop these ties based on the bilateral political-economic interests.
“We are not conducting our cooperation with Iran at the expense of our partnership with the U.S.,” he confirmed. Nazaryan also assured journalists that Armenia is concerned over the current situation and is in constant contact with players in both Iran and the U.S.
This development comes shortly after National Security Advisor John Bolton’s trip to Armenia, in which he made statements suggesting shifting alliances and dependencies in the region (notably away from Russia and Iran, and toward the U.S.).