Armenia’s relations with Iran are “more than cordial in the political sense but quite lukewarm in the economic sense,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” writes, commenting on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s official visit to Yerevan. “There have been attempts of late to deepen Armenian-Iranian economic relations but there is no tangible progress in this area yet,” says the paper. “Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Armenia could give new impetus to those relations, especially considering the fact that the agenda of the visit mainly consisted of economic issues.”
“168 Zham” claims that the Armenian government remains cautious about strategic economic projects with Iran for fear of antagonizing Russia. Not much should therefore be expected from Rouhani’s visit, says the paper.
“Zhoghovurd” says that during Rouhani’s visit to Yerevan no new agreements were signed on the long-awaited implementation of Armenian-Iranian projects such as the construction of a hydroelectric plant and a railway connecting the two countries. The paper believes that Tehran should be interested in strengthening its ties with Yerevan.
“Hayots Ashkhar” puts Rouhani’s trip in the broader regional context. “After Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian visited Tehran this summer, official Baku began openly threatening that if President Rouhani visits Armenia, Azerbaijan’s president will travel to Israel and open an Azerbaijani embassy in Jerusalem,” writes the paper. “That was followed by uncertainty over the dates of Rouhani’s visit to Armenia. It lasted until Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Baku. The Iranians ran out of patience, and one day before Rouhani’s visit to Armenia the spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry stated that Azerbaijan should not have agreed to Netanyahu’s visit.”
“Aravot” is glad that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has become a pre-election issue in Armenia after former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s latest speech. The paper says that pro-Russian Armenian parties raising this issue should also talk about Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan and their impact on Baku’s bellicose sta nce.