Abbas Badakhshan Zohouri, “Strong Armenia is the pride offriendly Iran”
We experience historical times crucial for our country, our nation. The geographic location of our country has had a decisive role throughout our history. In the current geopolitical developments, in the defeated post-war situation we need to be extremely vigilant and realistic in foreign diplomatic relationship in particular.
The primary role of culture and art as universal language of communication is a well-known reality in the development of relations between countries. Our neighbor in the South, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is an essential strategic country for usand every step towards strengthening the mutual relations of our countries is more than vital for the present.
Today the adviser to the Cultural Center of the Iranian Embassy in Armenia, Seyed Hossein Tabatabai and the Rector of State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia, Aram Isabekyan signed Memorandum of Understanding between the Art Universities of two countries. The signing of the Memorandum was preceded by the substantive talk between top management of SAFAA and the Ambassador and representatives of the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran to Armenia. The meeting that lasted about an hour covered the themes of the importance and necessity of collaboration.
Briefly mentioning about the activities of SAFAA, the cooperation with a range of European Art Institutions, the Rector also outlined the utmost importance of current cooperation taking into account the deep and strong ties established between Armenia and Iran throughout the history. “Through the recent regional developments we saw your position that was of utmost importance for our country. After the war, your proposal of signing this agreement especially in the current situation is a delight for us. This is itself another support, a launch of new friendship in the spheres of art and culture”.
He also shared his impressions from his visit to Isphahan years ago, fascinated by the culture of the city, its cleanness and hospitality where he had experienced the cordial attitude of the Iranian people towards the local Armenians and Armenian Community and the care and attention the Iranian side paysto Armenian churches and Armenian culture.
The Ambassador Mr. Zohouri outlined in his speech the respectful attitude of Iranian people not only towards the local Armenian Communities but also the Armenian people generally. Speaking about the achievements of Iran, he outlined the contribution of Armenian people in the development of economy, science, culture and other spheres of Iran. “Iran never forgets the values created by Armenians and passed on to the people ofIran”.
Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of RA, Karen Trchunyan also highlighted the importance of passing from paper cooperation to a more practical phase, expressing hope on further establishing cooperation with other Armenian HEIs as well, particularly in the sphere of science and technology for as he put it “If one wants to live in peace, he should develop strong science”.
With this regard, the Ambassador made a range of remarks saying that even if the political relations of both countries were at a high level, we weren’t still aware of the potential of each other. That’s a matter of mutual recognition.
He also spoke about the two different ideologies, Christianity and Islam, the peaceful coexistence between the bearers of two religions, in particular the followers of Shiabranch state, “There are not many differences between divine religions; all divine religions lead to good, pure, peaceful coexistence”. In this context he mentioned that if one looked carefully at Armenian churches, he would notice that they were more renovated and beautifully preserved than many mosques.
Referring again to the historical and cultural distortions on which Aram Isabekyan mentioned that it doesn’t refer to the Armenian side, the Ambassador reminded the case related to the famous Persian poet, the fact of his being Persian is widely known to everyone, but a small country spread a call that he belonged to them. “We should be firm and preserve what we have and not allow the distortion of historical and cultural values and monuments”.
It’s already several months the cooperation has been established between the President of Artists’ Union of Armenia, Suren Safaryan and the adviser to the Cultural Center of the Iranian Embassy in Armenia, Seyed Hossein Tabatabai within the frames of the project “Iran through the eyes of Armenian artists” the first stage of which that is to choose the artists and their works is already completed and the exhibition is envisaged in Autumn. The winners will be given an opportunity to visit Islamic Republic of Iran and depict another Iran after viewing it personally.
Throughout the whole meeting one couldn’t but obviously notice the warm attitude of Iranian side towards Armenia, the Armenian people and Iranian-Armenian community.
The Ambassador Abbas Badakhshan Zohouri concluded the meeting with the words that were warmly greeted with applauds by the attendees, “Strong Armenia is the pride of friendly Iran”.
Translated by Naira Stepanyan