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Iran, Armenia Ink MoUs on Energy Cooperation

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, June 1 (ICANA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian signed several agreements to bolster ties and cooperation between Tehran and Yerevan in oil, gas and other energy and industrial fields.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011 11:36:47 AM
Iran, Armenia Ink MoUs on Energy Cooperation

The agreement was endorsed during a ceremony at the end of the two countries' 10th Joint Economic Cooperation Commission meeting.

After signing the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), Salehi said, "In 2010, trade between Iran and Armenia increased by 38 percent, bilateral trade between the two sides currently stands at 270 million dollars, and we are now the fourth biggest economic partner of Armenia."

Salehi stressed that the two sides would continued efforts to expand bilateral ties, particularly in economic field.

"It is necessary that the reached agreements and the signed documents between Tehran and Yerevan would be implemented by both sides."

The Iranian foreign minister pointed out that the volume of the two countries' trade in the year 2010 increased 38 percent compared to the previous year to $270 million, adding, "this increased volume raised Iran's status among Armenia's major trade partners in the year 2010 from the 8th to the 4th place."

Yet, Salehi lamented that the current trade volume of the two countries does not match the existing capacities and potentials.

"Now conditions are ripe for increasing this volume to an acceptable level."

He also referred to Iran and Armenia's status in the transportation field, arguing, "keeping in mind Armenia's unique position in the region, which can be connected to the Black Sea in the west on one hand, and to the Persian Gulf through Iran on the other hand, can bring very positive economic fruits both for our two countries, and for the entire region."

Salehi noted continued energy cooperation with Armenia, and said, "Iran with its rich energy resources can be a reliable source for providing energy for the friend and neighbor country of Armenia."

Referring to the reached agreements in that realm, the Iranian top diplomat expressed hope that in such fields as gas, transfer of new oil and electricity industries, and other energy cooperation, the joint work would proceed in accordance with the reached agreements and the programs proposed by the technical experts.

Armenia's Energy Minister Armen Movsisian, too, said, "Iran-Armenia relations are very high level and cooperation in such fields would keep on growing."

He pointed out that the Armenian president attaches great importance to his country's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"The two countries enjoy very excellent political ties presently, which leads to the growth of cooperation in various other fields," said Movsisian also emphasized in response to a reporter's question on the situation in Karabakh, "Iran spares no effort aimed at solving that crisis."

The Armenian official stressed that policies regarding Karabakh are based on regional interests.

On Sunday, Iranian Minister of Energy Majid Namjou announced that the two countries have agreed to boost swap of electricity once construction of the third power transmission line is completed.

"The construction phase of the third power transmission line between the two countries will start in the next two weeks," Namjou told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with Armenian Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisian.

He added the new line will bring the volume of power exchange between the two countries from the current 300mw to 500-800 mw.

The minister said that over $110million of funding is needed for the construction of the new power transmission line.

Movsisian, for his part, stated that the two neighboring countries have run successful energy cooperation for years, and reminded that many projects have been implemented in Armenia through Iran's cooperation.

Iran and Armenia have expanded cooperation in power and gas swap in recent years.

Iran mainly exports natural gas to Armenia and imports power supplies from the Caucasian state through two transfer lines with a total power transfer capacity of 220kw/ph at present.

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