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Armenian News Daily

Armenian Daily News in English
Armenian News - Hayastan.com

Who Sent Nalbandyan To Tehran And Why
The foreign minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandyan has left for Iran where he will meet with the countrys high-ranking officials. Iran is gradually taking on a leading role in the greater Near East, slowly but steadily ousting Turkey and Russia. Yesterday, for instance, Iran mediated signing of an agreement between the Syrian government and opposition on liberation of Homs, which might mark the end of Russian influence on the Syrian war and region. Iran has stated ready to supply Europe with gas, through pipes and liquid, and is currently negotiating with Azerbaijan. And though Irans high-ranking official has stated that the Iranian gas supplies will not threaten Russian exports, Iran will obviously take the place of Russia in the European market. What will Nalbandyan talk in Tehran? Maybe the visit of the Iranian president Rowhani which was first dated in May but was later postponed for an indefinite time. The meeting of the Armenian-Iranian interstate commission is planned in May. The co-chair of the commission, the ex-minister of energy Armen Movsisyan is not in the new cabinet, and a new commission has to be formed. Armen Movsisyan has failed to give an articulate answer to the Iranian ambassador in Armenia who proposes buying gas from Iran. Armen Movsisyan was dealing with service of Gazproms interests. He signed a deal which imposes ban on buying or transporting Iranian gas without Gazproms authorization. The Eurasian Union which Russia has been trying to create with the help of Turkey and Israel has cracked. One of the intended purposes of this Union was to prevent Irans growing role in the region, including blockade of Armenia, the shortest and cheapest way for Iranian exports. On April 29 Serzh Sargsyan was not in Minsk and did not sign the agreement on membership to the Customs Union. Moreover, the signing of the agreement on the Eurasian Union was questioned by one of its co-founders, the president of Belarus. The agreement may not be signed at all. And in that case Armenia will be freed from responsibilities to the Customs Union (exemption of 30% customs duty on gas under the agreement with Gazprom is determined by membership to the Customs Union). Iran has not made up its mind on the gas route, at least officially. Nalbandyan may have left for Tehran because Moscow may have asked him to achieve an agreement with Iran on stationing Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh. Brenda Shaffer, an American political scientist, writes that Iran which has resisted appearance of Russian troops in Karabakh has now lost interest in resistance.
Lragir

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