What’s in the last minute cancellation of Ahmadinejad visit?

Iran -- Presidents Serzh Sarkisian (L) of Armenia and Mahmud Ahmadinejad of Iran meet in Tehran on 13Apr2009

Iran -- Presidents Serzh Sarkisian (L) of Armenia and Mahmud Ahmadinejad of Iran meet in Tehran on 13Apr2009

In a surprise move, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad postponed his Monday visit to Armenia at the very last minute.  In fact, my friend, photojournalist Sedrak Mkrtchyan twitted, that he “had a useless trip to Airport in the morning” to take shots of the arriving president.

“The parties reached agreement to postpone the visit of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Armenia. The visit will be conducted at a mutually agreeable time,” the official statement on Armenian President’s website says.

The Iranian side had a more elaborate explanation, which is however, quite intriguing. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Monday, that the trip of Iranian President will come in another time since it takes more time to arrange and finalize the documents that are to be signed during the trip between the two countries.

Another Iranian official, deputy head of the Presidential Office for communications and information dissemination Mohammad-Hassan Salehi-Maram, essentially, accused Armenia for the cancellation of the visit.

“President’s visit to Yerevan was put off because the host country had not prepared the documents which were to be exchanged during this visit,” he said.

Vahan Hovhannisian, the head of ARF Dashnaktsutyun parliamentary group, made an interesting remark related to Ahmadinajad visit in the Parliament today.

“Most probably, certain issues were entered into the agenda of the Iranian President at the last moment, which needed more elaboration and coordination with Yerevan,” Dashnakstutyun leader said and added, that by “most probably” he means, that he has reliable information.

Hence, Hovhannisian seems to confirm the explanation given by the Iranian side – Armenia is the reason, why the Ahmadinejad trip was delayed.

But what could make Armenia make a last minute change in the agenda of a important strategic partner? Why at the last moment? And clearly, the last-minute cancellation of a state visit cannot be seen as a positive thing, even as the Iranian side claims the opposite.

Iran and Armenia have been having a sustained ‘honeymoon’ relationship over the past several years.  The two countries are working together on several major infrustructure pojects, including the construction of a 500-800 megawatts power line with a capacity of  linking their electricity grids, building two 180-megawatt hydroelectric dams on Araks river, which borders the two countries, as well as a 365-kilometre oil pipeline from Iranian city of Tabriz to Eraskh in Armenia.

All of these projects, which were on the agenda of the Ahmadinejad visit, are quite long term.

There is only one issue, which comes to my mind, where the two countries share common interest, but where the situation is changing fast and Armenia has limited control over the developments. That is of course the Karabakh issue.

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev are expected to meet later this month for what could prove to be decisive peace talks.  Iranian officials have repeatedly voiced strong opposition to the possible deployment of a Western-led peacekeeping force in the conflict zone, which is very close to Iran’s northwestern frontier.

Could this be it?


10 thoughts on “What’s in the last minute cancellation of Ahmadinejad visit?

  1. Also possibly might have to do with Armenia scheduling Ahmadinejad with a Tsitsernakaberd visit.

  2. and how does persians help us? do they help us in a big positive impact economic way?

    they supply natural gas to us and that’s it. which is controlled by our evil mafiya regime and they use it for their selfish-selves to heat their buisnesses and homes leaving the rest of the country to suffer and not have a pot to piss in. and a few persians come to Yerevan every for their novruz movruz holiday

    so now tell me: how does this trip cancellation impact us negatively? you think tomorrow if azerGAYS began 2nd phase war with us that the persians would coma running to our aid??? they didn’t help us in 1st phase, what would make any of you think/believe that they would help us now or in near future? they have to bow down to azeri & turk, because they trade gas-oil-military arms with them. turks are big buyer of oil from iran, they recently built that pipeline from south caspi to southeast turGAY and persians are supplying arms, weapons, and oil/gas to azeri for last 10 years.

    ara wake up !!!!!!

  3. Armenia should make an alliance with Iran to attack Azerbejian and divide the country to Iran and Armenia and deport the Aziks where they came from.

  4. armenians don’t have enough money to buy food for their starving population!! you want them to take over a country with doubling military budget of 3 billion $?? dream on…

    • Eli? Tell me more about Armenians and their “starving population,” I wanna hear!

      Clearly you have no idea what you’re talking about, do you? :)))

      • http://haysanta.am/en/articles/2009-2010
        feel free to read and watch the videos. I have been to armenia myself several times. The socio economic status does not need any elaboration, at least half the population are below poverty line, andI dare to say many are literally mal nourished.

    • Looks like I was correct about internal leadership struggles in Iran being the reason, though apparently the cancellation was on the Iranian end, not the Armenian one.
      “The visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Armenia on June 6 was abruptly canceled due to Iranian supreme authorities’ decision to ban two members of presidential staff from leaving the country, reported MEMRI BLOG web site with a link to Iranian Fararu web-site.” http://news.am/eng/news/62820.html

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