“Zhamanak” believes that Iran’s nuclear agreement with the United States will have far-reaching repercussions for the South Caucasus as well. “In terms of security, this development is a much more serious and promising factor for Armenia than its weaponry modernized with a [Russian] loan,” writes the paper. It remains to be seen, it says, whether the Armenian government will make use of opportunities arising from Iran’s improving relations with the West.
“Zhoghovurd” also thinks that the easing of Iran’s international isolation is opening up new economic opportunities for Armenia, including the possibility of becoming a new transit route for Iranian gas supplies to Europe. The paper claims at the same time that Armenia’s significance for Iran will decrease because the Islamic Republic will no longer need its Christian neighbor as a “window to the outside world.”
“From now on, Iran will be free to forge communications and economic relations with any regional country,” it says. “This means that Armenia needs to make additional efforts to maintain its importance [to Iran.] At any rate, Iran’s return to the international arena is more of an opportunity than a challenge for us. In case of pursuing an accurate policy, Armenia will be able to reap benefits and substantially enhance its political and economic security.”
“Aravot” comments on the surprise resignation on Tuesday of Justice Minister Hovannes Manukian. “Staffing policies in Armenia are not transparent,” editorializes the paper. “We do not know why people are appointed to government positions and removed from them.” It says this can only give rise to various far-fetched speculations by politicians and commentators.
“Blocking streets seems to have become fashionable,” “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” writes in reference to Tuesday’s demonstration in Yerevan organized by employees of the troubled Nairit chemical plant demanding their back wages. Also on Tuesday, more than 100 youth activists demanding punishment for police officers, who used excessive force against protesters on June 23, briefly occupied a busy street intersection in the city center. “At first glance, it might appear that all this testifies to the development of a civil society,” comments the paper. “In fact, this testifies to the underdevelopment of the state, rather than the development of civil society.” It argues that if there was a rule of law in Armenia its citizens would have gone to court, instead of taking to the streets.