“Armenia cannot pay such a price,” Mirzoyan said during a recent visit to the US, reported Fars News Agency.
“We don’t want the United States to put pressure on Armenia for joining its Iran sanctions agenda,” he added.
The comments come as Armenia heavily depends on Iran for energy and trade as Iran has served as one of Armenia’s two conduits to the outside world since borders to Azerbaijan and Turkey were closed.
“I informed American partners that our economy is suffering losses due to the sanctions against Iran and that we cannot stop buying Iranian gas,” Mirzoyan wrote on his Facebook page following a speech in Washington.
Senior Armenian authorities visiting Tehran last week said that their government is seeking to expand a barter arrangement involving Iran’s gas and Armenia’s electricity.
That comes as Washington has repeatedly asked Armenia to cut business with Iran. US national security adviser John Bolton warned authorities in Yerevan during an October visit to the city that traffic through the Armenian-Iranian border will become a “significant issue” for Washington.
Bolton said at the time that the US government was planning to enforce the sanctions against Iran very vigorously.
Also, on Wednesday, the head of the Iran-Armenia Joint Chamber of Commerce Hervic Yarijanyan said that Yerevan was working on plans to establish new trade relations with Tehran based on national currencies.
Yarijanyan said the officials were looking for trade in their national currencies and had proposed the establishment of a credit institution outside the banking system to the president of Armenia.
Referring to his recent meeting with Armenian President Armen Sarkisian in a news conference on Tuesday, Yarijanyan pointed to economic relations between the two countries, and said, “The president of the country has a positive view of Iran and calls for increased mutual investment between the two countries.”
He added that dispatching delegations, creating exhibitions, and maximizing the capacity of the two countries are among the intended programs.
“We are looking for trade in the two countries’ national currencies which are the rial and the dram,” Yarijanyan said in response to a question on banking relations between the two countries. “We have proposed the establishment of a credit institution outside the banking system to the president of the country.”