Andranik Margaryan dead at 55

Maybe it’s just me but I can’t help but notice that the Armenian prime minister is suddenly found dead a few weeks after announcing that his country would start using a new gas pipeline from Iran by 2008 to lessen its dependence on Russia for power-generating facilities. It seems the first section was reported to be open just last week.

The Armenia Diaspora complete story does not suggest any kind of foul play is suspected at all, although they do provide this rather awkward quote:

The U.S. chargé d’affaires in Yerevan, Anthony Godfrey, issued a statement on the occasion, describing Markarian as a “valuable partner of the United States.”

Apparently he was expected to step down by mid-May, yet his influence over the upcoming elections probably was still considerable. A EurasiaNet writer in Yerevan posted some interesting analysis of the security dynamics of the region.

Analysts in Yerevan have long suggested that Tehran’s main motive for maintaining close links with its sole Christian neighbor is to limit the spread of Turkish influence in the region.

And likewise we probably can assume that US influence in “western-oriented” Armenia is to help limit the spread of Iranian influence, or perhaps facilitate intervention against nuclear proliferation.

2 thoughts on “Andranik Margaryan dead at 55”

  1. Hi there, just to say that I don’t think anyone in Armenia would agree that there’s a possible link between Markarian’s death and the Iran gas pipeline.

    In fact, although some might suggest there’s a link with the May parliamentary election, the overwhelming conclusion so far from all walks of life is that the cause of death was from natural causes, especially as Markarian had a history of heart problems and was almost constantly receiving medical treatment abroad.

    Of course, not all the details are known yet, but as I said, the general feeling was that his death was not so surprising given his lifestyle of heavy smoking and drinking as well as his recent medical history. See here for more details.

  2. Thanks Omnik. Your comment reminds me of the fact that “tobaccos” is the Native American word for pipe. I guess you can call it natural causes, but even your description sounds more like an avoidable death (export death) rather than normal expiration.

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