Economic hopes are rising in Armenia that the country can serve as a trade conduit for Iran now that international sanctions against Tehran are being lifted.
Armenia has long-standing ties to Iran, and is a member of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), a factor that potentially increases its attractiveness as a trade partner for Tehran. Yerevan is “an important avenue for both Iran to export through Armenia into that large combined market [EEU], and as a platform for Western engagement in the now opening Iranian market,” noted Richard Giragosian, director of the non-governmental Regional Studies Center in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.
The World Bank’s country director for Armenia, Laura Bailey, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service in January that stalled energy partnerships between Iran and Armenia could be the first sector to take off.
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Gayane Abrahamyan is a freelance reporter and editor in Yerevan.