By Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik with VCs Choe Nam-suk, Joy Cho, Editor Kevin Lee
Ambassador Saeed Badamchi Shabestari of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Seoul said, “In their 60-year history, Iran and Korea have experienced numerous ups and downs, but, despite their geographical distance, both Iran and Korea always feel close to each other, friendly and brotherly.”
Speaking at a reception he hosted at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Feb. 9, 2023 in celebration of the 44th Anniversary of the Victory of the Islamic Revoultion (National Day) of Iran on Feb. 9, 2023, Ambassador Shabestari added: “The governments of the two countries have also followed and supported friendly relations between them during this period.
In the 1970s, Iran played an important and key role in Korea's continued economic growth as a major source of energy during the oil crisis, and in some cases, Korean engineers and engineers living in Iran remained in place during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.”
Ambassador Shabestari also noted, “The historical relationship between the two countries reached its peak by naming Teheran-ro and Seoullo, respectively, on famous streets in their capital cities.”
(See text of the speech of Ambassador Shabestari at the end of this article.)
There were many distinguished guests from all walks of life congratulating Iran on the most auspicious day, They included Director-General Kim Eun-jung of the African Middle East of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Assemblyman Kim Jung-ho who concurrently heads the Korea-Iran Friendship Association as chairman at the National Assembly. There also were Taekwondo Grand Master Kang Shin-chul, Vice President Moon Byung-kewon of Kolon Business Group, and Representative Kim Sonya of World.
The Korean government has a high regard for Iran and bilateral relations, friendship and cooperation.
The Korean Foreign Ministry on Iran says: “Iran, truly respected and admired for the splendid Persian Civilization, is a unique country of great value in terms of geopolitical location, resources and its wonderful people.”
It states: “Iran connects Asia to Europe and the Middle East. It borders the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf which are of considerable significance in terms of oil reserves and transportation. Furthermore, Iran not only has abundant natural resources such as oil, natural gas, zinc, copper, uranium, iron ore and lead, but indeed, with her proud history and whole-hearted focus on education, outstanding human resources.” (See further details at the end of this report.)
Details of speech of Ambassador Shabestari of Iran:
Kim Eun-jung, Director-General of the African Middle East, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea
Rep. Kim Jung-ho, President of the Korea-Iran Friendship Association at the National Assembly.
Chun Jung-bae, former Minister of Justice, Chairman of the Korea-Iran Association,
And thank you for coming to this meaningful event.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Korea, I would like to welcome all the distinguished guests who attended the ceremony marking the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
It is also an honor to take this opportunity to greet you.
At this time 44 years ago, the most popular revolution of the 20th century won.
Under the leadership of Imam Khomeini, he has successfully introduced a system based on religious democracy in Iranian society, eliminating a foreign-affiliated despotism, ensuring the role and existence of the people in the social and political sphere.
For more than 40 years, Iranians have played a key role in determining political and social fate through a democratic system.
Iran was the oldest human civilization in history with a progressive political system.
Despite conspiracy and obstruction by hostile forces, including the Iran-Iraq war, economic sanctions and terrorism, and the maximum pressure on the United States, the Iranian people and the government have achieved countless academic and economic and technical achievements over the past 40 years.
It has thus achieved self-sufficiency in agricultural products, industrial products, nanotechnology, peaceful nuclear power, and demonstrates Iran's growth and development in all aspects of reliable international institutions, especially academics and technology.
International statistics show that since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has grown several times more than the world average on a variety of indicators, including health, welfare, education, infrastructure, and technology, and that Iran's status has improved markedly in the world rankings.
In this regard, achieving gender justice in the education sector, one of the social justice indicators, is one of the important achievements of the education and higher education systems in the years since the Islamic Revolution.
According to 1976 World Bank statistics, about 76% of women in the Islamic Republic of Iran over the age of 15 were illiterate, but from 1976 to 2018, Iran continued to rank first in women's literacy.
Also, in 2021, Iranian women's literacy rate is about 85%, which is 83% higher than the world's average literacy rate.
Dear distinguished guests,
This event is all the more meaningful in that it is the first official event to be held since the last three years when it was very difficult due to quarantine restrictions caused by the spread of COVID-19.
Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea and its two allies.
However, it is still the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in the Iranian calendar, as the year of the Iranian calendar is not over.
In response, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the people of the Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea on the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
In their 60-year history, the Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea have experienced numerous ups and downs each time, but despite their geographical distance, both Iran and South Korea always feel close to each other, friendly and brotherly.
Both governments have also followed and supported friendly relations between the countries during this period.
In the 1970s, Iran played an important and key role in Korea's continued economic growth as a major source of energy during the oil crisis, and in some cases, Korean engineers and engineers living in Iran remained in place during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
The historical relationship between the two countries reached its peak by naming Teheran-ro and Seoullo, respectively, on famous streets in their capital cities.
The peak of economic cooperation between the two countries can be seen from the US$18 billion exchange scale in 2011.
The turning point in political relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea is the official visit of then-President Park Geun Hye in 2016 after the signing of the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA) in 2015.
President Park Geun Hye's visit was the first top-level visit in the history of bilateral relations.
The visit was chaired by four ministers and 236 economic missionaries and signed 54 memorandums of understanding worth $3 billion a year through cooperation with Korean companies on infrastructure projects in various sectors including culture, science and technology, higher education, tariffs, extradition and judicial cooperation, health and hospital construction, food and medicine, banking, economy, agriculture and commerce.
Dear distinguished guests,
The historical relationship between Iran and Korea dates back 1,400 years and has always been based on mutual friendship, trust, and respect.
Relations between Iran and the Republic of Korea have always been on the path to expanding relations, but sometimes unexpected external and international pressure has negatively affected them.
I regret to say that Iran and South Korea are in a long period of economic and political stagnation at this time of the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the 61st anniversary of diplomatic ties with the Republic of Korea. This period of hardship has already been over four years.
For more than four years, my Korean friends have always told me that Koreans are reluctant to get close to Iran because they are concerned about the consequences of unfair sanctions and unilateral policies toward Iran.
Unfortunately, these concerns have a negative impact on the friendly and historic relationship between Iran and South Korea.
As the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran and one of the people who is interested in the development and strengthening of relations between Iran and Korea, I would like to take this opportunity to ask the Korean government and people on behalf of the Iranian government and people.
As a guardian and supporter of the achievements of the last generation, which has made numerous efforts to strengthen and develop bilateral cooperation, I hope that our cooperation in all areas will increase and these assets will be properly passed on to future generations.
Comment on Iran by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea:
Iran, truly respected and admired for the splendid Persian civilization, is a unique country of great value in terms of geopolitical location, resources and its wonderful people.
Iran connects Asia to Europe and the Middle East. It borders the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf which are of considerable significance in terms of oil reserves and transportation. Furthermore, it not only has abundant natural resources such as oil, natural gas, zinc, copper, uranium, iron ore and lead, but indeed, with its proud history and wholehearted focus on education, outstanding human resources.
As Korea and Iran established diplomatic ties in 1962, the year 2022 in fact marks the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations.
With the deep ties of trust stretching far back in history, the two countries have nurtured strong friendship. K-dramas, K-movies, K-food and Taekwondo are much loved by many Iranian people. And ‘Tehran Street’ in Seoul and ‘Seoul Street’ in Tehran are very symbols of the thriving goodwill and bonds between us. Korea will engage in devoted efforts to further develop the collaboration and the diplomatic relations by promoting trade, by expanding people-to-people exchanges with a particular focus on academics and students, and also by holding cultural events.