According to an Armenian government statement, Pashinian briefed Raisi on his May 22 meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev hosted by the European Union’s top official, Charles Michel.
“The interlocutors exchanged views on the opening of regional communications, the start of delimitation of the state border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and prospects for the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” read the statement.
Raisi was quoted by his office was welcoming “progress” made during the Brussels summit. He expressed hope that Yerevan and Baku will sort out “the remaining issues” through mutual respect of each other’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“Preserving the geopolitics of the region, including international borders, and respecting the national sovereignty of countries is emphasized by the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said, according to the office.
Aliyev has repeatedly demanded that Armenia open an exterritorial land corridor that will connect Azerbaijan to its Nakhichevan exclave through Syunik, the sole Armenian province bordering Iran. Yerevan has rejected these demands. It maintains that the two sides have only been discussing opening conventional transport links.
Last October, an influential Iranian cleric accused Aliyev of trying to “cut Iran’s access to Armenia.” More than 160 members of Iran’s parliament issued around the same time a joint statement warning against “any geopolitical change and alteration of the borders of neighboring countries.”
Raisi likewise told Pashinian in January that Tehran supports Armenian sovereignty over all roads passing through Armenia.
The two leaders also discussed Armenian-Iranian relations during their latest phone conversation initiated by Pashinian. The Armenian readout of the call said they specifically touched upon the implementation of joint energy and transport projects.
“This cooperation will strengthen peace, stability and economic and trade prosperity in the region,” Raisi was reported to say.
The Iranian president was also quoted by his office as warning against Israel’s “influence in the region.” Regional countries should exercise “caution” in their dealings with the Jewish state, he said.
It was not clear whether Raisi referred to Armenia’s recent decision to send its ambassador back to Israel. Pashinian’s government was criticized by senior Iranian officials after deciding in 2019 to open an Armenian embassy in Tel Aviv.
Yerevan recalled its ambassador to Israel during the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh. It thus protested against continuing Israeli arms supplies to Azerbaijan.