How much is Armenian-Iranian friendship?30.12.2011 | 04:12
In the near term Iran invests half a billion dollars in Armenian economy. All this money will be spent on energy projects. The decision was made after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Armenia. The situation around Iran is complex; it's not a fact that they would avoid military confrontation and strikes on Iranian territory. But all this does not darken rapidly developing economic relations between Yerevan and Tehran.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Armenia caused mild euphoria in Yerevan. Firstly, the Iranian leader has made a few nice for Armenia political statements, and secondly, the terms of the start of economy projects, very important for Armenia, were determined. But most importantly is money. As soon as the aircraft with the Iranian leader took to the sky, the economy minister of Iran Majid Namdzhui said that a consortium of private companies invested $ 571 million in the energy system of Armenia. This sum is very impressive by the standards of regional economies.
December 23, when Ahamadinezhad was in the Armenian capital, those who watched his visit could think that Iran has no problems. They did not speak about the possibility of war, nuclear program was nearly forgotten, on the agenda there was only the economics. And the result has been achieved. In the early summer next year the construction of HPP at the border with Iran, at the Araks River, will begin. This hydropower plant is important for the energy sector of Armenia, especially considering that the country has no large rivers, and as a result - there is no way for the construction of large hydroelectric power plants. Price of the issue - $ 323 million, and this is only the first part of the project. Over time, there will appear one more hydropower plant at the Iranian side of the border. Investment conditions are acceptable to Yerevan. After fifteen years Armenia will receive the station at its disposal and will have no debt to Iran.
The Armenian-Iranian relations are developing very dynamically. Speaking diplomatic language, it causes confusion in neighboring Azerbaijan. While Ahmadinejad was in Yerevan, the Azeris, who are unhappy with the fact of the Iranian leader's visit to Armenia, picketed the Iranian embassy in Baku.
GTimes asked Iranian researcher from the Institute of Oriental Studies of Academy of Sciences of Armenia Mher Baghdasaryan to comment the Armenian-Iranian friendship. According to him, there is nothing unexpected in such warm relations. "The two countries have too much in common that they cannot afford to ignore each other", Baghdasaryan said. "Both countries are in a fairly rigid insulation, both have common opponents. In this situation, life itself compels Armenia and Iran to be friends", said our interlocutor.
Both, Baghdasaryan and Russian expert Leonid Vardomsky from the Center for Post-Soviet Studies, claim that the Armenian-Iranian friendship doesn't include an element of the geopolitical game. "Armenia and Iran are forced to be allies, because there are two other allies - Turkey and Azerbaijan. And if their efforts to achieve common objectives are combined, it is logical that both Armenia and Iran cooperate", said Mher Baghdasaryan. Leonid Vardomsky added that in such situation Iran would seek an alliance with Yerevan because of its great isolation.
Armenia's relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan are really bad - the border between the countries is blocked. But Iran's relations with Azerbaijan are also not cloudless. The countries are not friendly. In Baku, they do not hide the fact that the springboard for an attack on Tehran may be organized here. A history of confrontation of Iran and Turkey lasts more than one century. So that the Armenian-Iranian friendship is beneficial to both countries: the allies need each other.