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Iran-Armenia-Russia: The axis against Ukraine revealed

“The world’s second military power”, as Russia had been referred to before it waged war in Ukraine, is reportedly suffering from a severe shortage of both lethal and non-lethal weapons, including drones and missiles. Under sanctions, when it is impossible to obtain arms components and military goods in the usual way, the aggressor is forced to rely on supplies from rogue countries and their accomplices. One of the main accomplices ensuring the supply of sanctioned goods to Russia is Armenia – writes James Wilson.

The unholy alliance between Russia, Iran and Armenia emerged despite the focus on Western values declared by Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. Actions speak louder than words: a number of easily verifiable facts unambiguously testify that Armenia serves as a major hub to supply sanctioned (including military) goods that support Russian aggression in Ukraine and provides the direct connection between Iran and Russia.

Iran recognises Armenian security as its top priority

In a year of the war in Ukraine, the president of Iran has made several statements emphasising the importance of relations with Armenia and advocated its intensification. “Iran considers Armenia a close and friendly country” said Raisi on June 2.


“Armenia intends to develop relations with Iran as much as possible and in all areas,” Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan echoed him on October 1.

“Armenia’s security is Iran’s security,” Iran’s Foreign Affairs minister declared on October 20. The next day, his Armenian counterpart emphasised that relations between the two countries were based on “a profound understanding of the common natural interests of the states” On 11 February this year, President Khachaturyan reiterated, “The Republic of Armenia is keen to expand and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation between Armenia and Iran for stability of the region and benefit of our Peoples

On October 30, the Armenian Defense Ministry acknowledged that Iran had delivered attack drones, and in the same month the Iranians donated 600 missiles to the Armenians. On November 1 Pashinyan was welcomed in Tehran: a memorandum of understanding and cooperation in the energy sphere was signed.

All of the above confirms that the two countries see each other as strategic allies. Both of them share tensions with one neighbour, Azerbaijan, and rely on good relations with another, Russia.

Unprecedented boost in trade turnover and diplomatic ties

It is symbolic that the trade turnover between the two countries increased sharply against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine: in 2022 Armenia’s exports to Iran totalled $111.2 million, a 70% increase over the previous year; Iranian imports to Armenia totalled $599.7 million, an increase of 37%.

Apparently, a significant chunk of this increase is due to the use of Armenian territory as a transshipment point for the transfer of sanctioned goods, weapons and drones from Iran to Russia. The geographic location of Armenia, which borders both countries, ensures virtually uncontrolled movement of cargo from Iran to Russia, bypassing any sanctions.

This looks especially cynical against the background of Armenia accusing Azerbaijan of illegally transferring weapons to Nagorno-Karabakh through the Lachin corridor. However, the double standards of the Armenian leadership apply not only to the transportation of weapons, but also to political events, which speaks volumes about their true values.

An eye-opener that went unnoticed in the West testifies to the level of Yerevan’s official support for Iran’s theocratic regime: soon after the brutal suppression of protests in Iran, one of the main reasons for which was severe discrimination against women, the wife of Armenian Prime Minister Hakobyan visited Tehran. There, on 18 January, she took part in the “First International Congress of Powerful Women” organized by the authorities. On February 27, Iran’s foreign minister acknowledged her participation in this important event for the regime.

It is equally telling that a month and a half earlier, on November 24, Armenia had spoken out against a resolution of a special session of the UN General Assembly’s Human Rights Council, entitled “The deteriorating human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran”. It noted “the need to bring human rights violations to justice”.

All these facts convincingly reveal Yerevan’s true foreign policy priorities, much more than bland statements by individual officials about their desire to refocus on the West. For Armenia, the West is no more than a situational ally, useful when it comes to achieving its own objectives, such as the recognition of the Armenian genocide or securing its illegal claims to Azerbaijani lands in Nagorno-Karabakh. Its true allies reside in Moscow and Tehran. Ukrainians should know where to send their thank you notes when the Russians are shelling their cities or attacking their infrastructure with Iranian drones. To Yerevan, without love.


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