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Iran, Armenia Strengthen Ties Through Joint Projects

The newly inaugurated Armenian-Iranian gas pipeline has boosted bilateral cooperation.
YEREVAN -- Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad have signed agreements worth millions of dollars in two days of negotiations in Tehran, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has endorsed the agreements on eight joint projects, including a 470-kilometer railway bridging the two countries, at a meeting with Sarkisian and Ahmadinejad on April 14.

The leaders also agreed to build a large hydroelectric plant on the Arax River that the two neighbors share.

Sarkisian told Ahmadinejad that Armenia "attaches special importance" to relations with Iran, and thanked him for allowing Armenian cargo to route through Iran during economically "difficult times," the Armenian presidential press service reports.

Armenian-Iranian energy cooperation was already significantly boosted in December with the inauguration of a pipeline designed to ship Iranian natural gas to Armenia.

It is still not clear when Iranian gas deliveries will start, however.