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. chargÃ© 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 Tehranâ€™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.