ArmInfo.Armenia and Iran will consider the possibilities of increasing gas supplies from Iran to Armenia, Iranian Minister of Energy Ali Akbar Mehrabian stated at the 17th meeting of the Armenian-Iranian Intergovernmental Commission.
The Commission has not met for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Happily, it is in the past, and we can now discuss possibilities of developing the Armenian-Iranian relations," Mr Mehrabian said.
Speaking of the high-level Armenian-Iranian political cooperation, the minister stated that one of the most comprehensive documents was signed at the meeting.
"As regards economic relations, their current level cannot be satisfactory as it is inferior to the level of our political relations. Our high-level political relations necessitates our thinking of developing our economic cooperation and increasing our trade.
As to whether Iran is considering increasing gas supplies to Armenia in case the nuclear talks succeed and sanctions are lifted, Mr Mehrabian said that the gas transit potential should be developed given the global demand for gas.
"The North-South main makes Armenia a very good option for transit of goods. Iran has increased its gas exports to Armenia. I should say that today's meeting has been attended by the director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), and agreements have been reached on discussing an increase in gas supplies," Mr Mehrabian said.
He stated that nothing prevents gas supplies to Armenia.
As to the possibility of Azerbaijani forcing Armenia out of the North-South corridor, Mr Mehrabian said that the memorandum of understanding signed on May 11 contains a point on energy transmission in the Iran-Armenia-Georgia direction.
"Moreover, we have synchronized energy transmission lines from Azerbaijan to Russia and we are going to do so with Georgia. We have different seasonal conditions. Russia needs more electric energy in winter, whereas we in Iran need more in summer. Therefore, the diverse networks enable us to get the necessary amount and export the surplus," the minister said.
Iran is Armenia's third largest trade partner in terms of both exports and imports. This January-March, Armenian-Iranian trade totaled $140.2mln. Armenia's exports to Iran exceeded $23.9mln and imports from Iran, $116.3mln. Iran's share in Armenia's foreign trade remained 6.7%. The unfavorable balance of Armenia's trade with Iran reached $92.3mln.