Skip to comments.Iran's Armenian Connection
Posted on 04/17/2012 8:48:37 AM PDT by nuconvert
As the United States, the European Union, and western allies expand efforts to squeeze Iran through crippling sanctions, Tehran is working to create loopholes to mitigate the impact. Often, the Iranians have used third countries for this purpose. From the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Germany, Iran established networks of businesses and front companies designed to assist and finance the regimes illicit procurement activities. But the UAE and Germany, alongside other erstwhile partners of Iran, have since joined the sanctions effort, pushing Iran out of their financial systems and scaling down on trade.
For Armenia, Irans presence is a boost to its small economy. According to the head of the Armenia-Iran Chamber of Commerce, Levon Aharonian, in 2010 bilateral trade was at $310 million, up 50 percent from the previous year. Much of it, he said, moved across the border with the estimated 45,000 truck deliveries per year from Iran to Armenia. In 2010, there were 818 companies with Iranian capital inside Armenia, according to Armenian Development Agency's deputy director, Valery Shabanov. Russia, Armenias biggest trading partner, had 1,000.
There are other reasons for concern. As Hayk Gevorgyan wrote last year in the Armenian Times, The future Iran-Armenia oil pipeline will serve the interests of Armenia's shadow economy, as according to Iranian reports, 440,000 tons of oil will be pumped from Iran to Armenia annually, whereas Armenia's annual demand for oil and diesel fuel is 250,000 tons only. As Gevorgyan concludes, the amount of oil products to be imported via the pipeline exceeds the amount officially consumed in Armenia. So what happens to the surplus? Presumably, it will be siphoned off for smuggling, a significant source of profit for the IRGC.
(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...
An interesting example of realpolitik in action. Christian Armenia and Iran being allies, I mean.
“Christian Armenia and Iran being allies, I mean.”
Allies or business partners? Germany also sells stuff to Iran and I don’t think they are allies.