Will the outcome of Iranian presidenial election affect policy towards Armenia?




Whoever wins the presidential election in Iran, there won’t be serious changes in the relations with Armenia, expert of Iranian studies says.

“Iran’s foreign policy towards Armenia is not conditioned by persons. The political line will not undergo serious changes whoever is elected,” expert of Iranian studies Vardan Voskanyan told a press conference today. Therefore, he said, it’s hard to judge which of the candidates is preferable from the Armenian viewpoint.

As for the Armenian community’s stance, Vardan Voskanyan said there is a huge difference when compared to those in the United States or France.

“The Armenian community of Iran does not back any single candidate, Armenians are free to express their will and vote for the candidate they prefer,” the expert said. He noted, however, that most Armenians back reforms, but it does not mean conservatives have no supporters among Armenians.

According to Voskanyan, being an Armenia in Iran is a privilege in a certain sense. He emphasized the special attitude towards the Armenian community and said “elections will not change it.”

Speaking to Public Radio of Armenia, Member of Iranian Majlis Karen Khanlaryan said “Armenians have different affiliations.”

He said the community issues will be presented to all candidates and voiced hope the newly elected President would take steps to ease the difficulties Armenians face.

He said the main demands include recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, material support and some legal issues.

Unlike Vardan Voskanyan, the lawmaker considers that the approaches of the elected President will lead to changes in Armenian-Iranian relations.

“The strategic and tactical guidelines will change,” Karen Khanlaryan said.

Iran will hold presidential elections on May 19. The candidates include incumbent  President Hassan Rouhani, Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, Astan Quds Razavi chairman Ebrahim Raisi, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Mostafa Mir-Salim and Mostafa Hashemitaba. The main competition is expected between reformist Hassan Rouhani and conservative Ebrahim Raisi.

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