Speaking to his Cabinet on Wednesday, Rouhani said that the settlement of disputes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over areas surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh region enabled Iran and Azerbaijan to complete key hydroelectric projects on the border.
“The liberation of territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan was helpful to some economic activities, a first (instance) being an agreement on the Khoda Afarin Dam which we could use its electricity and water. This dam is capable of irrigating 120,000 hectares of our lands,” he added.
Iran’s Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian announced on Wednesday that he had reached a final agreement with Azerbaijan’s deputy prime minister and his accompanying delegation on how the two countries should proceed with plans to construct two major power plants on the Khoda Afarin Dam.
Ardakanian said Tuesday talks in Tehran with Shahin Mustafayev had extended into midnight, adding that the two sides had agreed to settle long-standing financial issues regarding the dam and its construction.
“We had to agree on the funds spent on the dam by Iran ... Today financial issues are completely clarified and we will immediately start construction for the hydroelectric power plants on Khoda Afarin Dam,” said the Iranian energy minister.
Khoda Afarin Dam is built on the Aras River which straddles the Iran-Azerbaijan border. Iran seeks to build two 280-megawatt hydraulic power plants on a reservoir which holds 1.6 billion cubic meters of water.