Dynamics of Russian-Iranian relations was discussed at the international conference in Tehran

02 November 2017

Conference “Dynamics of Iranian-Russian Relations: New Challenges in the Region and the World and the Need for Cooperation” took place in Tehran.

The forum had been organized by the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and the Institute of Regional Studies of Shahid Beheshti University. Well-known Iranian scientists and diplomats as well as university students attended the event. A delegation of Russian experts in Iranian and Arab studies was formed by the Gorchakov Fund.

Different aspects of relations between the countries were discussed at the roundtable. The experts acknowledged that ordinary people in Iran and Russia hardly knew anything about each other. Mass media continue to create wrong images by exploiting old stereotypes.

The representatives of Iran admitted that even in academic circles there Russia was viewed as the old Soviet Union and vigilance from 30 years ago was still being transferred onto the current relations.

A need to establish relations between top universities of Iran and Russia, exchange scientific literature, organize student internships and joint trips of experts was mentioned. Increase in the number of people learning Russian and Farsi will also promote better understating of each other.

According to Director of the Department of Regional Studies at University of Tehran, former member of the Iranian parliament Ms. Elahe Kulai, non-governmental organizations of Russia and Iran could help developing relations among the students.

When speaking about the place of Moscow and Tehran in the modern world, the experts mentioned that the two countries had similar points of views on many issues of foreign policy; however, different perspectives existed as well. One of the main topics of the discussion was a dilemma: whether to characterize relations between Iran and Russia as a strategic partnership or not. Almost every speaker covered assessments and prospects of the Iranian nuclear program and the experts evaluated risks associated with it.

In addition to the conference, the Russian delegation took part in four roundtables at Shahid Beheshti University. Meetings of experts of the two countries were held at the Institute of Iran-Eurasia Studies (IRAS), Center for Caucasus Studies, University of Tehran, and Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran. The participants of those discussions exchanged opinions on a large number of issues related to the bilateral relations.