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Armenian Defense Chief Ends Visit To Iran


Armenia -- Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian (L) and his Iranian counterpart, Ahmad Vahidi, at the start of his official visit to Tehran, 17July 2010.

Armenia -- Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian (L) and his Iranian counterpart, Ahmad Vahidi, at the start of his official visit to Tehran, 17July 2010.

Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian discussed Armenian-Iranian cooperation and regional security issues with Iran’s top political and military leaders during a weekend official visit to Tehran.


Ohanian met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki during the trip.

Official Armenian and Iranian sources said both sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening bilateral ties, including in the area of defense, and stressed their importance for peace in the region. Few other details of the talks were reported.

“During all official meetings, the parties emphasized that the millennia-old Armenian-Iranian cooperation contributes to the strengthening of peace and stability in our region,” the Armenian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday. Ohanian and Ahmadinejad “underlined broad possibilities” of expanding Armenian-Iranian relations.

The statement said Ohanian and Vahidi reviewed “the current state of international and regional security and possible developments.” The two men expressed their satisfaction with the current level of political dialogue” between their countries, it said.

Armenia -- Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian (L) meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Tehran, 18July 2010.
“Expanding defense ties between regional states will greatly help avert and manage the crises and dangers that threaten the region,” Vahidi told his Armenian counterpart on Saturday. Regional security requires “all-out ties” among those states, the Iranian ISNA news agency quoted him as saying. Iran “has mobilized all its capacities for the realization of this goal,” he added.

Vahidi listed “terrorism” and “intervention by extra-regional forces” among the factors keeping the situation in the region volatile. The Iranian general himself is considered a terror suspect by the United States and Israel.

“Cordial bonds between Iran and Armenia will help maintain peace and stability in the region,” Ohanian said, according the Iranian Press TV. “Regional problems can and should be addressed through the collective wisdom of regional states.”

Mottaki, for his part, was reported to call for the creation of an “inter-regional mechanism” for resolving regional conflicts and closer ties between Tehran and Yerevan. He discussed ways of boosting them with Armenian leaders during a visit to Yerevan last January.

President Serzh Sarkisian told Mottaki then that Armenia views the Islamic Republic as “a reliable partner and a country with a pivotal significance in the region.” He also praised Tehran’s “balanced” position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
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