Iran Sets Sights on Armenia

The US 2015 budget provides $24.7 million in assistance to Armenia. Washington has also reached several economic agreements with Yerevan, including the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (2015), Joint Economic Task Force (1999), Investment Incentive Agreement (1992), Agreement on Trade Relations (1992) and Bilateral Investment Treaty (1992) — all of which provide platforms for deeper economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

According to the Armenian National Committee of America, the two countries have several options to improve their trade relations — including adoption of the Double Taxation Treaty, which is needed to replace the outdated US-USSR Double Tax Treaty from 1974. The committee believes this treaty is an impediment to US investment in Armenia and hinders economic relations between the two countries.

Iran sees Armenia as a regional strategic trade partner, while the United States has been investing in the Caucasian country for an extended period. A potential clash of interests between Iran and the United States thus appears as a serious challenge on the distant horizon. However, if this challenge is addressed wisely and in a timely manner, conflict can be avoided and the American market could even be accessible to Iranian manufacturers through Armenia in the medium term.

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