Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani and Yerevan Mayor Hrachya Sargsian signed a relevant agreement at a ceremony held in the Iranian capital.
According to Sargsian’s press office, they also approved a plan of joint actions on urban development, public transport, environment protection and other municipal affairs.
The official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Zakani as saying during the ceremony that the agreements reflect Iran’s desire to have good relations with its neighbors and “especially Armenia.”
Iran has been anxious to cement its traditionally cordial ties with Yerevan in the face of geopolitical changes in the region resulting from the 2020 Armenian-Azerbaijani war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Tehran is worried about Azerbaijani demands for the opening of a land corridor that would connect Azerbaijan to its Nakhichevan exclave through Syunik, the sole Armenian region bordering the Islamic Republic. It has repeatedly warned Baku against attempting to strip Iran of the common border and transport links with Armenia.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian reiterated that “red line” when he visited Armenia in late October. Amir-Abdollahian inaugurated the Iranian consulate in Syunik’s capital Kapan during that trip.
Visiting Tehran ten days later, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian praised “Iran’s principled position on regional peace and security.”
In mid-October, Iran’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), held large-scale exercises near a stretch of the Arax river separating northwestern Iran from Armenia as well as Nakhichevan and districts south of Karabakh recaptured by the Azerbaijani army during the 2020 war. The Iranian army afterwards held separate war games near that area.
In an apparent response to those drills, Turkish and Azerbaijani troops held joint exercises along Azerbaijan’s border with Iran in December.