Saeed Badamchi Shabestari (Iranian Embassy)
By Iranian Ambassador to Korea Saeed Badamchi Shabestari
As the Iranian ambassador to the Republic of Korea, I am delighted to address readers of esteemed newspaper Korea Herald about our National Day.
This year, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and birth of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Over the years, the spirit of the revolution has borne fruitful results in the face of great adversities and misfortunes. The event sought to put an end to despotism at home and foreign interference, while achieving freedom, justice and independence. It succeeded in opening a new chapter allowing people’s participation, thereby harnessing the national willpower for our republic.
Since those historic days, Iran has championed multilateralism and striven to resolve regional and global issues, particularly in the Middle East.
Issues and problems around the world today require worldwide participation. The interests of nations have become inseparable, and achieving a nation’s specific goal is increasingly linked to other nations’ interests.
The scourge of terrorism has caused much pain and distress throughout the Middle East. Despite the demise of the Islamic State terrorist group, other fundamentalist terrorist organizations still continue to pose threats to the world. Against this backdrop, Iran has played a pivotal role in fighting terrorism.
When it comes to our bilateral relations, Iran and Korea established diplomatic ties in 1962, which have grown stronger and closer over the years. The Tehran Street in Seoul and Seoul Street north of Tehran are symbols of our friendship and economic cooperation.
Iranian government officials have always maintained a positive image of Korea, and committed themselves to strengthening our bilateral relations on all fronts. Last year was marked by several high-level visits between Iran and Korea.
The trade between our countries have improved in recent years, reaching $6.3 billion last year, with Iran exporting over $4 billion to Korea and Korea exporting over $2 billion to Iran.
Political, social and cultural cooperation has always been strong, and both governments can do more to promote each other’s culture, history, lifestyle and touristic heritage. Civil societies and academic institutions can take the lead in this regard.
In 2018, we witnessed a series of cooperation in tourism, culture, interreligious dialogue, books, film and sports. I believe there’s ample room to further boost our cultural collaboration, especially in halal tourism, student exchange, joint research, sports, filmmaking and art.
Iran has made various strides in science and technology, including nano-tech and its related health products and discoveries. We have created 35 nano health products domestically. We are a regional leader in the research of stem cells and regenerative medicine, as well as one of top 25 countries in brain implants. Our expertise in space research and technology is world-class, as our domestically produced rockets can carry satellites into orbit.
Iran is also home to some 1 million tourist attractions from the ancient Persian and Zoroastrian civilizations. Located between the East and West, Iran was home to various cultural and commercial interactions that took place in our pre-modern history, which left indelible marks on our land. I recommend our Korean and international friends to visit Persepolis, Isfahan, Golestan Palace in Tehran, Dizin ski resort and Tabriz Grand Bazar, among other places.