Expert: Iran-Tajikistan cooperation reduces the impact of international sanctions

Posted on April 13, 2012

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Iran’s closer cooperation with the Central Asian countries, in particular with Tajikistan, decrease the impact of the sanctions, imposed by the international community against the country, Senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, James M. Dorsey said.

The expert was commenting on Iran’s willingness to provide financial support for the construction of Tehran-Ashgabat railroad through Afghanistan to improve regional energy and water supplies.

“Every expansion of relations helps Iran lessen the impact of international sanctions,” the expert added.

Observers note the recent expansion of cooperation between Iran and the Central Asian countries.

As an example, Iran expressed its readiness to build a gas and water pipelines, railroad and transport road towards Tajikistan through Afghanistan.

Tehran even said it is ready to pay for the construction of Tajik part of the gas pipeline. Also Iran expands cooperation with Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Dorsey said the closer cooperation with these countries allows Iran to argue that it is not isolated, particularly on the eve of new talks on Iran’s nuclear program.

“Closer trade relations between Tajikistan and Iran as well as cooperation on energy and water makes perfect sense,” he said. “Obviously the timing of this project is sensitive and the question is why now”.

Dorsey added however, that the closer cooperation is unlikely to be welcomed in Washington even if it technically may not violate the sanctions.

As for the other regional leader, Russia, the expert believes this country likely to have less issues with the Tajik-Iranian move.

The United States and its European allies suspect Iran of covertly developing atomic weapons, accusations Tehran denies. The Islamic state says it has a sovereign right to nuclear activities, which it says are entirely civilian.

As a result, western countries imposed sanction over Iranian oil import by EU on Jan. 23. Embargo on Iranian oil import by EU members will take effect on July 1.

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