Iran Warns Armenia Against External Intervention in Regional Affairs

Iran Warns Armenia Against External Intervention in Regional Affairs

Iran’s leaders have issued a fresh warning to Armenia against relying on external powers for peace and stability in the South Caucasus, according to reports emerging from meetings with Armenia’s Defense Minister Suren Papikyan during his visit to Tehran.

The discussions occurred against the backdrop of Armenia’s strained relations with its longtime ally Russia and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s apparent efforts to pivot the country towards the West.

During a meeting with Papikyan, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi emphasized the importance of regional autonomy, highlighting the need to prevent outside interference in regional affairs. Raisi stressed that genuine security and peace can only be achieved through regional cooperation, rather than reliance on external actors.

Similarly, Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani cautioned against seeking security beyond the region, warning that it could exacerbate challenges to regional peace and stability.

Iran’s consistent message to Yerevan underscores Armenia’s recent overtures towards closer security ties with the United States and Europe, as well as its preference for Western mediation in peace talks with Azerbaijan.

Acknowledging concerns raised by Moscow and Tehran over Armenia’s foreign policy diversification efforts, Pashinyan’s government faces pressure to tread cautiously in its engagements with Western powers, as indicated by Armenian opposition groups. They argue that Iran, unlike Western countries, holds the potential for military intervention to thwart Azerbaijan’s ambitions in the region.

Despite voicing reservations about Armenia’s Western-leaning foreign policy, Raisi expressed satisfaction with the current state of Armenian-Iranian relations. He expressed hope that discussions between Papikyan and Ashtiani would contribute significantly to regional security, without specifying further details.

While the Armenian Defense Ministry confirmed that the ministers reached agreements on mutual interests, the specifics of these understandings were not disclosed.