Trade in ammunition is not trade in vegetables, such trade always has a dark side which may lead to negative consequences. The important thing in the relations between Armenia and Israel is the lack of barriers to discussing any issue, including sensitive ones and finding solutions, the minister of foreign affairs Edward Nalbandyan told the public television of Israel during his visit to that country on November 6 on the invitation of the Israeli prime minister.
One of the most interesting episodes of the meeting between the Israeli prime minister and Nalbandyan was the official statement of Israel on their conversation about the enlargement of Iran’s military presence and its negative consequences. This episode was especially interesting in the sense that the official statement of the Armenian foreign ministry did not contain a word about any discussion on Iran.
The issue of ammunition is perhaps the primary and most sensitive issue on the Armenian-Israeli agenda. Israel sells deadly ammunition to Azerbaijan used against the Armenian side during the April war. The press scandal followed the visit of the territorial cooperation minister of Israel to Armenia involving the Israeli combat drones supplier company which demonstrated their product on the Armenian positions, fortunately without deaths.
Official Tel-Aviv responded adequately, they started an investigation, supplies were frozen. However, it is beyond doubt that Yerevan and Tel-Aviv have a lot to discuss on the defense cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel.
Interestingly, the issue of Iran’s military presence in the region is raised at the meeting with the Armenian foreign minister when Armenia obviously lacks possibilities or levers for influencing Iran. This might be the main issue that Israel raises the issue not with an expectation that Armenia will help stop Iran but with an expectation that Armenia will not help Iran to address issues in the Near East.
As if Armenia could help Iran. But here the Israeli supplies to Azerbaijan comes forth and Netanyahu’s statement on Iran in his meeting with Nalbandyan and the statement of the Armenian foreign minister on the Israeli TV channel gains an interesting shading. Israel has information or serious concerns that the Armenian armed forces destroying Israeli weapons supplied to Azerbaijan collect certain information on these weapons which may be put on the table of the Armenian-Iranian cooperation, become available to Iran.
In addition, in a recent interview with the Iranian press Serzh Sargsyan made an interesting statement. “In fact, our countries are not consumers of international security but creators of that security, whose cooperation is aimed at solely stable and peaceful regional coexistence. In my opinion, Armenia and Iran have an important thing in common. Our international policy is based on the vision of achieving justice, which is highly important in achieving a peaceful and lasting solution of the innumerable existing problems,” Serzh Sargsyan announced, hinting at shared Armenian-Iranian interests in security and motivation of actions.
In this context, commenting on the sale of ammunition in an interview with Israel’s public television, Nalbandyan makes an interesting remark: “Trade in ammunition is not trade in vegetables, and such trade always has a dark side that may result in certain negative consequences,” the Armenian foreign minister says, hinting that Israel’s concerns may have grounds but this is the “dark side” and the negative aspect of sale of ammunition to Azerbaijan, and before selling Tel Aviv should weigh pros and cons.
What has Edward Nalbandyan succeeded doing during his visit to Israel, what have Armenia and Israel arrived at in their sincere discussions? It is already a positive thing that the topic has been discussed at a high level because it may indicate the beginning of change in the situation.