U.S. Announces New Sanctions on Iran, Armenia Vows Vigilance

Pressure increases on Armenia as U.S. intensifies its economic alienation of a key ally.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin provide an update on Iran Policy and Sanctions at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, D.C., on November 5, 2018. (Photo: State Department, Public Domain)

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.).

39 Comments

  1. We don’t need Iran, Islamic animals are ruling that country and just like Azerbaijan they are Iranian muslims. Not our friends. They will always side with their fellow Muslims. Just like in history. We have no friends, only enemies. Other European countries are our only allies in this world.

    • you seem to forget that the French and Brits left Armenians for dead when they were promised by the turks after WW1 that Armenians will be protected ? so your logic is void ! as for Iran they are our historic allies Islam aside Armenians have a protected status by the Islamic republic ! I Believe that Armenia should close all its borders and ready its war head and point on all directions give them 6 months and if Armenia’s borders are not open on all fronts and threat is not lifted we release our arsenal !and if they attack we blow up our nuclear power plant let the region burn for 1000 years !

    • Wrong. Iran has always been in good relations with Armenia. The historic rivalry between Iran and Turkic countries in spite of Muslim inter religious relations, has always been and still is Iranian inclinations towards more friendly relations with Armenia.
      There are also important economic pacts like the gas pipeline bwtween Iran and Armenia. The bullying of Trump and his doorkeeper Bolton should be examined very carefully by Armenian authorities.

    • Only Iran and Russia are close enough to defend Armenia. Armenians in Iran have a very good life and enjoy privileges in their Armenian clubs and schools.

    • Historically, Turkey is Armenia’s enemy. Today, Azeris are on that list. Looking around the world for friends, one finds Israel, another small country and people besieged by Muslim enemies notwithstanding a minor thaw of late. Forced by Turkey to keep its pro-Armenian feelings silent, Israelis have huge sympathy for Armenians and Kurds and Alevis, at least those Israelis aware of the “minor” headlines in Near and Mid East relationships. It would be wise for Armenia to tap into those Israeli sympathies.

    • Don’t be silly…
      Azerbedjan is siding with Israel and there is a major friction between the two countries…
      Iran is one of few markets that Armenian businesses would be able to exploit..
      Besides… European countries are still in full support of the this deal..

  2. Iran helped Armenia stay afloat during the Nagorno Karabagh War by opening the border and providing food, supplies etc. So they have helped us before and are a crucial ally, even if you disagree with their current state of affairs or rulers.

  3. If the US recognizes the Armenian Genocide as a trust building measure, it would reduce the influence of Russia and Iran. It would kill a lot of Jive Turkeys with one stone with very little costs.

  4. Armenia doesn’t have educated and smart enough diplomats and politicians to use both the USA and Russia to full advantage getting the best of both sides that is possible. And the Russian method of “friendship” is to have complete dominance over a satellite state. For some strange reason, Armenia has accepted its status as the secondhand servant for the past century. So called “Soviet Armenia” achieved nothing advantageous for Armenia’s future for the 70 miserable years it existed under Russian rule, despite that Armenia provided the Soviet Union with very important scientists and engineers, while Azerbaijan did nothing. And the most disturbing part is today’s Russia seems equally intent to keep the status quo of Armenia being in a pathetic and desperate state of existence. Meanwhile the S-400 missile system and a nuclear reactor are still set to be made possible to Turkey compliments of “Mother Russia”.

    • If it wasn’t for Russia and the Soviet Union you would not have an Armenian republic today and you would still be riding a jackass in the mountains of eastern Turkey…

    • I would much rather ride my jackass in eastern Turkey, than serving chai to the Aliyev clan on my knees in “Erivan” if everything was actually left to you fake patriot apparatchiks who are all concerned with obedience and servitude to Mother Russia than seeing Armenia move ahead as a strong and independent state. There is zero shred of evidence that “Russia created Armenia for the Armenian people”. That’s the reason that your apparatchik propaganda falls on its face every time. In fact it was the likes of Njdeh that made Armenia possible, strange that he was jailed and mysteriously died in a Russian prison, isn’t it? You know who I’m talking about don’t you? Njdeh, the guy who was responsible in preventing Azerbaijan and Turkey to take southern Armenia, and no thanks to “Mother Russia”. Ironically enough, perhaps Njdeh also saved Russia, as in today’s Russia if Njdeh’s plan had not worked to save Armenia, today NATO missiles would have been stationed in Baku or worse. Except those drunks in Moscow don’t realize it, and the puppets of Russia in Armenia calling themselves the “government” are too chicken to even explore any of these facts and stand in front of Russia with their heads held high and face to face, instead of face to ass and puckered up.

      You can argue that “Armenia was made possible because Russia moved into the southern Caucasus kicking the Persians out in 1800s” – but that would also be based on speculation. First, that was Imperial Russia, nothing like the Soviet Union, nor anything like the modern Russia. If Imperial Russia had actually survived and continued, doubtful anything named “Azerbaijan” would exist, or for that matter, “Turkey”, at least in its current form. Unlike today’s “Mother Russia” which loves and cherishes its “partnership” with Turkey and Azerbaijan. And second, assuming Armenia remained in Iran, there is also no accurate prediction as to what could have happened in the past century. Armenia could have come into existence just the same, maybe even in better shape if the Armenians and Persians joined forces against the Turkic invaders. So I don’t even care about all this since it never happened and it could be argued both ways.

    • @ Zartir Lao,
      Do you really believe what you write? Do you really think through your perceptions? Do you really think Turks and Azeris are afraid of brave diasporan like you?
      Wake up. Russia is the real reason why Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh have stayed Turk-free not only during the past two hundred years but also during the post-Soviet period.
      Your self-destructive Russophobia is clearly causing problems with your perception and reasoning.
      Yes, we have had technical problems with Russians at times but the Russian nations remains Armenia’s only natural ally in the world. Without Russia there won’t be an Armenia. So I suggest you be a little more grateful, that is if you are really concerned about Armenia’s well being.

    • I believe every single word I write because I no longer base my beliefs on “hope”. I am merely pointing out what has ALREADY transpired against Armenia. And Turks and Azeris have absolutely no reason to fear a “brave diasporan” like me, or any diasporan in fact, since Armenia has a pathetically weak and incompetent government who can’t even protect their own villages. Why would they even need to “fear” me? All they need to do is buddy up with Mother Russia, and Mother Russia will do anything the Turks and Azeris want against Armenia, as history proves it, like when Russia gave away amazing Armenian gifts to Turkey and Azerbaijan like Kars, Ardahan, Nakhichevan, Karabakh, etc. I don’t see any reason to change my perception now, after all, when Azerbaijan tried the invasion in April 2016, which Mother Russia knew about but never disclosed, Mother Russia also blamed Armenia for getting attacked, the only conclusion I can make when an “ally” knows which party is the aggressor yet comes out and says “both sides must stop”. And contrary to what you believe, I am not a “Russophobe”. Russia is an imperialist state looking out for its own interests. That’s fine with me. The problem I have is, the so-called Armenian “government” is doing the same: looking out for Russian interests before it looks out for Armenia’s interests. To me that is not a state, it is a province of another country.

    • Sorry to break this news to you but those who gave the lands in question to Turks were the same ones that also gave Russian territory away. The Bolshevik revolution was designed to destroy the Russian Empire. Bolsheviks were not ethnic Russians. Bolsheviks did more harm to Russia than to any other nation. It was Stalin that eventually “Russified” the Soviet Union. Moreover, the lands in question were not officially recognized as being Armenian by the Bolsheviks at the time. The lands were seen as part of the Ottoman and Russian empires. I suggest you do some serious reading on this topic. Your comments about Soviet Armenia makes it painfully obvious that you have very little understanding about what you are ranting about. Your comments on this board are mostly emotional outbursts. Your words are like cold war relics. It’s actually very sad people still think this way.

    • I actually did do some serious reading and have come to the conclusion that when Stalin Russified the Soviet Union, the ethnic Russians could have easily undone all the damage the Bolsheviks did to Armenia and had 50 years to do it and did not do a damn thing, despite that Azeris as a people were effectively useless to the Soviet Union, having contributed nothing that is noteworthy. Where is that mythical “Russia-Armenia Friendship”? Russia could have easily redrawn borders within the Soviet Union to make Armenia have a proper existence and security, even an outlet to the black sea. But the Russians have determined that Armenia needs to continue on in a pitiful and desperate state so that Russia can keep Armenia subjugated, to the benefit of Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Also, Russia is the successor state to the bolshevik state. Russia is still responsible because the “enemy” cannot be identified.

  5. Russia and to a lesser extent Iran are Armenia’s only options for survival in the south Caucasus. Western powers – with their Russophobia, Iranophobia, Judaeophilia, Turkophilia and Islamophilia – pose an existential threat to the Armenian state. Uncle Sam is toxic. Armenia needs to curtail its ties to the US and Nikol needs to be pushed out of power before he does irreparable damage to Armenia.

    • Concerned: Israelis are actually Armenophiliacs, to borrow your word. Yes, Americans consider Jewish Israel a friend, and it would do Armenia much good to develop relationships with Israel and assist in creating bridges. Need I say more?

  6. To think that none of this would even be an issue had the US not overthrown Iran’s prime minister in 1953.

    • I think you mean the overthrow of the Shah by that incompetent bum Jimmy Carter,which brought today’s radical Muslim regime to power!

  7. interesting piece of bolton`s visit to armenia is missing and that is what has the us offered in return for armenia to shift and draw back its relationships with both russia and iran? armenia must maintain its geo-political and economic ties to exist and currently its relationship with bot countries is to its advantage.

  8. Not only we need Iran, but also Russia, entire of Europe and USA in addition to other North and South American states! It is just a matter of how to negotiate with some thugs like Bolton or Trump, and make them understand that our livelihood depends on open borders – like any other country. If you like to close our southern border, then give us access to open see so that we can trade with other countries! In other words, either return the Western Armenia (which is another liability for us – a different issue to be discussed at length) or otherwise some “easement” / unrestricted passage to open sees. Then we can be an island nation! Oh, BTW, guarantee our border security too. But, the reality is that Trump and Bolton will be gone at worst in 6 years. Iran is there for a long time to come yet, and unlike Americans, the Persians have a long memory. And, please forget about religion, that is not going to be an issue! Just remember that US president was sword dancing with Saudi sheikhs in less than 2 years ago!

  9. You can NOT trust Trump or any of his hence men as he is a proven sociopath with 6500+ lies on record since coming to office.
    There is an old saying that one should not throw stones at one’s neighbor as they can always pick them up and throw them back. So we should live in peaceful coexistence with Russia and Iran when possible.

  10. Don’t forget that “Azeris” are just turkified Iranians. They are Islamic barbarians and have always been our enemies, how quickly history is forgotten huh? Yes Turks are our number one enemy but let’s not forget what the Iranians have done to us throughout history. You remember David Bek? Muslims have always slaughtered us together from the Arabs to the Turks to the Iranians that includes nomadic Kurds and
    Azeris.

  11. Very poor diplomacy by the armenians as usual. Why do you need to declare anything about Iran. We need iranian products and they need us as well. We have alot of trade deals with Iran and further afield. Just for the sake of a few million american USAID dollars how could someone sacrifice their national security? In the event of war the americans would not even give a shit about armenia, but Iran will support us. So stop this europhile and globalist idiocy and wake up

    • Russia never went to war over Syria. If it had, there would be no war for this long, it would have been over quickly. That’s why the USA has a base there now and the Turks are in too. Until recently when a Russian plane was shot down due to a trick from Israel, Russia had been letting Israel bomb Syria to its heart’s content as well. Russia had been striking deals with Turkey and Israel AGAINST Syria. But Syria had no choice but to follow Russian “friendship”. Russia kept a critical part of Syria safe so that it would continue to have a naval presence in the mediterranean, that’s all. And in this plan they can prevent the saudis and qataris from putting pipelines through Syria to Europe to bypass Russian ones.

  12. “It would be wise for Armenia to tap into those Israeli sympathies.”

    Actually, over here in Armenia, we give the middle finger to Israel and its evil Zionist flag.

    The illegitimate, genocidal, terrorist state of Israel has always been an enemy to the Armenian Nation. In addition to its vigorous and successful attempts to prevent the United States from recognizing the Armenian Genocide, Israel is also an accessory to Azerbaijan’s brutal campaign of terrorism against the Artsakh Republic. They have supplied the Azerbaijanis with over five billion dollars worth of sophisticated military weapons, which are being used to kill precious Armenian soldiers over on the Artsakh-Azerbaijan border.

    • You are right on point. Israel supplies the Azeris with sophisticated weaponry and shares intelligence with Turkey. Further, Israel continues to not recognize the Armenian Genocide. Shekels, not principles, govern their diplomacy.

  13. American Armenians are the opposite Jewish Americans….my parents are Vanetsee and always said if you have a problem seek your heritage……Well our Armenian funeral director stole my late father’s bank account…..My mother naturally retained an Armenian lawyer who only sat on the case one year to prevent shame to our race….Mother retained a Jewish lawyer and we got the stolen money in 10 days…The Jewish lawyer said PRO BONO…Wow…Many other instances to mention….WISH I BORN A JEW

  14. You don’t have to follow the US. Iran has been good to Armenia. Everybody knows Iran has a problem and everybody knows that this is an issue that only it’s citizens can do something about it. This is a dangerous political game that the US is playing. Europe has a different view. The US has made some awful decisions in the past – remember Iraq and other middle eastern nations? on the other hand Iran does have issues that they themselves should try and resolve. Instability creates problems.

  15. The uS is talking to the wrong Armenia. It needs to negociate with Western Armenia. There is a Western Armenian Government in exile already. And the Americans already have the League of Nations Mandate over Armenia. So they need to act on that.

  16. Animals?? Empty Vessels Make the Most Noise.
    .
    Armenians have been in Iran for centuries. We have been friends for a long time. We are neighbors.
    We have been helpful to Iran and Iran has been helpful to Armenia for hundreds of years before even America existed..
    .
    Iran was responsible for saving thousands of Christians in Syria only recently. Yeprem khan sacrificed his life for Iran to get back Khuzestan during
    enghelabe mashrootiat انقلاب مشروطیت
    Please study the history before insulting anybody…

  17. My God, the above comments are disturbing. When will all this negative rhetoric end? Haven’t learned a thing over the years. You all keep reliving these old resentments and conflicts ednauseum. Everyone perpetrated atrocities against one another over centuries. Can’t you all own it make your apologies and move on? It’s getting really old, all you accomplish is a constant spinning of the wheel and your countries keep going to hell in a handbasket! What a waste! You might accomplish something if you tried a positive approach. Start with getting together and owning all the conflicts that were perpetrated to each other over time?

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