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Armenian Speaker Wants ‘More Active’ Iranian Role In Region


Iran - Parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and his Armenian counterpart Alen Simonian hold a news briefing, Tehran, June 15, 2022.

Parliament speaker Alen Simonian has reportedly called on Iran to play a “more active role” in the region during an official visit to Tehran.

During his separate meeting with Iran’s president, parliament speaker and foreign minister held on Wednesday and Thursday, Simonian also reaffirmed Armenia’s desire to deepen ties with the Islamic Republic.

He briefed the Iranian leaders on the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone in the aftermath of the 2020 war which he blamed, according to the Armenian parliament’s press office, on “the Azerbaijani-Turkish duo.”

“We hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran will play a more active role in developments in the region,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry quoted Simonian as telling President Ebrahim Raisi. He praised Tehran’s “constructive position” on those developments, reported the ministry.

Raisi discussed Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian in a phone call on June 1. Iran remains opposed to any change in the “geopolitics of the region,” he stressed in an apparent reference to Azerbaijani demands for a land corridor that would pass through Syunik, the only Armenian province bordering Iran.

Raisi assured Pashinian earlier that Tehran supports Armenian sovereignty over all roads passing through Armenia. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian likewise said in October that any “changes in the region’s map” are unacceptable to his country.

Meeting with Amir-Abdollahian, Simonian said that Armenia has always supported “friendly Iran” in the international arena and expects a “corresponding attitude” from the Islamic Republic.

“I think that Iran’s impartial approach to pro-Azerbaijani initiatives circulated on international and regional platforms would seriously contribute to the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the speaker said.

According to an Armenian parliament statement on the meeting, Simonian also stressed the importance of “strategic dialogue” between Armenia and Iran, saying that it will pave the way for “substantial progress” in bilateral ties.

The Armenian ambassador in Tehran, Arsen Avagian, reportedly said in April that Yerevan wants to turn relations between the two neighboring states into strategic partnership.

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