President Serzh Sarkisian is one of a dozen foreign heads of state who are due to attend the inauguration of Iran’s new President Hassan Rohani, Iranian news agencies reported on Tuesday.
Rohani will be sworn in on August 4 around two months after his landslide victory in Iran’s last presidential election.
The Mehr and Fars news agencies quoted a senior Iranian official, Mohammad Yasrebi, as saying that the presidents of 10 countries, including neighboring Armenia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, will attend the inauguration. Several other nations are due to send lower-level officials to the ceremony, he said. In particular, Russia and Azerbaijan will be represented by their parliament speakers.
Sarkisian has not yet announced an imminent trip to Tehran through his press office. The Armenian leader is currently on vacation which he is reportedly spending in Europe.
Sarkisian’s participation in Rohani’s inauguration would underscore warm ties between Armenia and Iran. Sarkisian expressed hope that they will grow even closer when he congratulated the reform-minded Islamic cleric on winning the Iranian presidential ballot last month. Rohani pledged to “expand our cooperation with Armenia” in a written reply sent to Yerevan.
The two men have met on at least two occasions in the past. Rohani visited Yerevan in 2001 and held talks with Sarkisian, Armenia’s defense minister at the time, in his capacity as head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. They also met in Tehran in 2005.