Iran Sets Sights on Armenia

The latter is set to come on stream in 2018, increasing the transmission capacity from Armenia to Iran from 300 to 1,000 megawatts. Among other matters raised by Jahangiri during his visit was an ongoing project to connect Iran’s rail network to that of Armenia, a plan that would provide Armenia with access to the southern Persian Gulf states through the International North-South Transport Corridor.

Jahangiri’s call for a focus on bilateral trade cooperation during his stay in Yerevan appears to have been welcomed by Armenian entrepreneurs, as soon after, a group of them announced that they will visit Iran on Nov. 9. According to the Iran Chamber of Commerce’s website, Armenia’s minister of economy will lead the delegation, which consists of about 50 top managers in banking, IT and agricultural businesses.

This could be in line with a proposal offered by Jahangiri to create a trade hub in Armenia, from where Iranian goods could be re-exported not only to Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, but also to Europe and the United States.

The head of the Iran-Armenia Chamber of Commerce, Levon Aharonian, believes the new effort to facilitate trade could help curb corruption and cut import duties from Iran significantly. In an article in the leading Iranian Tejarat-e Farda economic magazine, Aharonian argued that Jahangiri’s proposal — if accepted by the Armenian government — could be a “great opportunity” for Iranian traders looking for broader markets.

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