Iran and Armenia have been in contact for thousands of years. Armenia was conquered by the Persian Empire several times throughout history, particularly in the Median, Achaemenid, Parthian, Sassanid, and Safavid periods. Due to cultural and historical ties, Armenia was sometimes considered part of Greater Iran. Armenia and Iran enjoy cultural and historical ties that go back thousands of years.[original research?]
There are no border disputes between the two countries and the Christian Armenian minority in Iran has official recognition.
Stepan Safarian, of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies, has said "Given this geopolitical environment, Armenia has the legitimate right to cooperate with Iran for ensuring its security...Besides, Armenia has an energy surplus and its only major export market at present is Iran...So there is also a lot of economic interest involved."
Of special importance is the cooperation in the field of energy security. In addition to a pipeline that will bring Iranian natural gas into Armenia. Additionally, the two states have also implemented other multi-million dollar energy projects.[which?] These include the construction of two hydro-electric plants on the Arax River that marks the Armenian-Iranian border, a third high-voltage transmission line linking their power grids and dams, among other projects.
In July, 2007, a memorandum was signed on the start of feasibility studies on the ideas of building an Armenian-Iranian railway and a Russian-owned oil refinery that would process Iranian crude. In addition, the Armenian and Iranian governments have been working on a bilateral free trade agreement that could be signed by the end of 2007.
The Armenian government is building a second, bigger highway leading to the Iranian border in the hope of boosting trade with Iran. In 2005, Armenia’s trade with Iran totaled a modest US$105 million. Trade volume between the two countries increased to US$200 million in 2009. Trade relations continue to be strong.
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been quoted as saying "The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes and supports the development of ties with Armenia in various areas, particularly in energy as well as transportation, sports, and tourism."
Iran's cultural attaché to Armenia, Reza Atufi, has announced that the two countries have reached a preliminary agreement to make a joint television series. He said that the joint venture would portray the social and cultural life of Iran and Armenia and expand cinematic ties between the two countries. There are also Iranian Armenians that maintain the language.
- Danielyan, Emil (2007-10-19). "Iran's Ahmadinejad Due In Armenia". ArmeniaLiberty/Radio Free Europe. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
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