Hopes are running high in Armenia that the pending end of international sanctions against Iran, its southern neighbor, will advance strategic investment projects. But Armenian analysts caution that Russia, Tehran’s longtime regional rival, may foil Yerevan’s ambitions.
Although no exact timeline exists for the lifting of sanctions against Iran, the United Nations could consider the issue during the week of July 20, provided the International Atomic Energy Agency finds that Tehran has restricted its nuclear research as specified under the July 14 deal with the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, and Germany, news agencies report.
The prospect of lifted sanctions has investors busy making up wish lists. The sense of anticipation is especially high in Armenia, which has endured an economic blockade by its neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey since the early 1990s. For more than 20 years, Iran has served as one of only two economic trade routes to the outside world for landlocked Armenia. A significant expansion of Armenian-Iranian trade ties could effectively break the Azeri-Turkish economic blockade.
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Gayane Abrahamyan is a freelance reporter and editor in Yerevan.