The late January visit to Armenia by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif got little media attention, but it could have significant ramifications for geopolitics in Eurasia. Specifically, the trip could help Russia gain a trade outlet that softens the blow of Western sanctions.
Zarif’s two-day stay in Armenia had all the usual diplomatic pomp and promises. It came on the back of an October visit to Tehran by a high-ranking delegation led by Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan. In Yerevan, Zarif met his counterpart Eduard Nalbandian and President Serzh Sargsyan. The statements that followed those meetings included plenty of the usual diplomatic rhetoric. But they also contained hints that the trip was more than mere diplomatic reciprocity.
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Alex Vatanka is a Senior Fellow at Middle East Institute and The Jamestown Foundation in Washington DC.