In a Wednesday meeting with visiting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Ayatollah Khamenei described Iran and Armenia as two close neighbours with long historical relations.
The Leader then underlined the need to increase mutual economic cooperation between and two sides and said despite the US officials’ will, Iran and Armenia should strengthen their mutual and friendly ties.
He referred to close relations between Iranians and their Armenian compatriots living in Iran as well as the self-sacrifices made by the Armenians during the Sacred Defence (the war imposed on Iran by Iraq under former dictator Saddam Hussein) and said, “I’ve been paying visits to houses of some of Armenian martyrs in Tehran because we view them as Iran’s honours just as our Muslim martyrs are.”
Ayatollah Khamenei then cited growing friendship and cooperation between the two sides as a must and in line with both sides’ common interests.
He further noted that American officials are completely unreliable. “They always seek to create sedition, corruption, divisions and war among nations. They are also against Iran and Armenia mutual ties. But we are duty-bound to increase our cooperation.”
He then pointed to the close and friendly relations between Iran and Armenia throughout history and said the two states have never gotten into trouble in their relations.
“Based on its Islamic instructions, the Islamic Republic of Iran feels duty bound to establish good-faith relations with its neighbours. But US officials including John Bolton have no understanding of such humane relations,” he noted.
Iran’s Leader also underlined that the current level of relations between Iran and Armenia is much lower than both sides’ capacities to establish ties and called for seriously following up the agreements to be made during the Armenian official’s visit to Iran.
He referred to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and said continuous negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan is the only way to tackle the conflict, and expressed the Islamic Republic’s preparedness to contribute to peaceful solution of the matter.
For his part, the Armenian prime minister described his talks in Tehran as constructive and promising and expressed hope that agreements made so far could become operational through two sides’ resolute will.
He also referred to historic relations between Iran and Armenia and cited it as an appropriate ground for further expansion of ties.
“Armenia has never taken part in any anti-Iran plot and will never do so. We view promotion of our mutual ties with Iran in our own national interests,” he said.
Pashinyan then expressed satisfaction with the living conditions of Armenians in Iran.
He directly addressed Iran’s Leader saying “I’m totally sure that through your deep experiences as well as the Islamic Republic’s significant role in the region, we can expand further our mutual ties.”
The meeting was also attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.