WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) — The United States is not pressuring Armenia to curtail its relations with neighboring Iran because of the US sanctions against Tehran, according to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
In an interview with the French-Armenian magazine Nouvelles d’Armenie publicized by his press office on Saturday, Pashinyan was asked whether the sanctions are causing Armenian serious problems.
“I don’t want to make grandiose statements but our diplomats have succeeded in scoring a very important victory in this regard,” he replied. “Our American partners seem to have gotten a good grasp of the issue. They have started to understand that Iran is one thing for Washington and another for Armenia.”
“I can say that at the moment we are not subjected to any pressure [from the US,]” added Pashinyan.
Parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan, a close associate of Pashinyan, made similar comments when he visited Washington and spoke at the Atlantic Council think-tank in July.
“We don’t want the United States to put pressure on Armenia for joining in its Iran sanctions agenda,” Mirzoyan said. He argued that Iran serves as one of his landlocked country’s two conduits to the outside world due to closed borders with the two other Muslim neighbors: Azerbaijan and Turkey.