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40th Iranian National Day

31 January 2019

Ambassador Mohsen Movahhedi Ghomi and Madam Zahra Movahhedi-Ghomi hosted a reception to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran as well as the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of political relations between the Iran and South Africa.

Photo: (l-r) Ambassador Mohsen Movahhedi GhomiGugile Nkwinti, Minister of Water and Sanitation, Baleka Mbete, Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa and Minister Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim, former Deputy Minister of DIRCO

Ambassador Movahhedi Ghomi detailed the strides that Iran has made reaching its 40th anniversary especially in the fields of science and technolgy, education and medical sciences.

Speaking about Iran's foreign policy Ambassador Movahhedi Ghomi said, "While the Islamic Republic has based its foreign policy on developing friendly relations and engagement on an equal footing with all countries.  This policy is planted on mutual respect and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors, and with the intention to assist in preserving and promoting global peace and stability through constructive negotiations and diplomacy.  We believe that the language of respect and diplomacy is always more powerful than the language of threats and sanctions. Today Iran is a full participant in world commerce with large resources to export and a ripe market for imports."

Speech by His Excellency Mr. Mohsen Movahhedi Ghomi, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iranin South Africa

My spouse and I would like to welcome you and express our thanks for accepting our invitation to celebrate the 40th Iranian National Day and the 25th Anniversary of our friendly ties with South Africa.

We have arrived at this day through years of dedication and sacrifice.  Our revolution in 1979 strived to return to the people the right to choose their destiny in how best to participate in political, economic, and social make-up of their own country. I’m sure my South African friends and colleagues, just like Iranians, share the very same emotions of joy and excitement, when remembering their victory in 1994.

The scientific and technological backwardness of Iran during the pre-revolutionary period was very annoying for Iranians with a cultural and civilization background. Overcoming this backwardness, crossing the boundaries of knowledge and achieving the most advanced technologies with the goal of creating a modern Islamic civilization is one of the ideals of the Islamic Revolution. In recent years scientific advances and the achievement of the Islamic Republic of Iran in some of the new technologies surprised our friends and was admired by them.

According to the international scientific community, the pace of scientific progress in Iran is 11 times the average growth rate of science in the world. This figure shows how fast Iran is moving its distance from the developed world, and it can not make it one day for all countries in the field of science production. Now Iran is in twelfth place in the world of science.

Some of the results of these scientific and technological developments can be seen in the following areas:

Our progress in nanotechnology, laser, medical sciences such as stem cells, repair of spinal cord injuries, production of strategic drugs and other scientific eras, as well as becoming the medical pole in west Asia are among tremendous successes of Iran. While we must not forget the fact that Iran now is a member of the nuclear club and world space club.

Let’s mention some statistics about Iran in its 40th anniversary. In field of education Iran is the 10th country in the world considering the budget of education, also 5th considering the number of graduates, Iran has the 1st rank in the world in literacy development, the literacy rate from 47% in 1979 raised to more than 97%. The number of higher education students in Iran is about 5 million.

In health, Iranian life expectancy increased from 55 years in 1979 to 76 in 2018. The infant mortality rate decreased from 2000 in year 1990 to 25 in year 2016. In the field of industry, we ranked 16 in producing cars. In the field of technology Iran has 56 million internet users, which means Iran ranked 17th in the world. In Nanotechnology Iran is among the six leading countries in the world and, Iran is one of the 9 countries in the world which benefits from the full nuclear fuel cycle.

While the Islamic Republic has based its foreign policy on developing friendly relations and engagement on an equal footing with all countries.  This policy is planted on mutual respect and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors, and with the intention to assist in preserving and promoting global peace and stability through constructive negotiations and diplomacy.  

 

 

 

We believe that the language of respect and diplomacy is always more powerful than the language of threats and sanctions. Today Iran is a full participant in world commerce with large resources to export and a ripe market for imports.

By the same token, Iran understands that human rights, expansion of relations and global trade requires regional stability and security.  Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran, categorically condemns all acts of terrorism, irrespective of its origin, place of birth, political or religious affiliation, and stands on the right side to defeat terrorism in all its shapes.  

On a bilateral note, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of South Africa honor 25 years of friendship and effective cooperation.  However, historically, Iran has been a longstanding friend of South Africans, especially during the Struggle.  


In 1979, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Iran severed all ties with the apartheid regime, and it wasn’t until 1994, when South Africans won their freedom, that Iran changed its approach towards South Africa and renewed its ties with the new democratically elected government of South Africa.

The 40th Anniversary of the Iran Islamic Revolution has coincided with the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. Let’s remember some memories of Madiba regarding Iran.

While Mandela when freed from prison commented on the effect of the Islamic revolution lead by Imam Khomeini as:
Islamic revolution of Iran under the leadership of Imam Khomeini, raised hopes to the revolution of South Africans against the unjust regime and with no doubt history will never forget the role of Islamic Iran.

Mandela, during his visit to Tehran in 1992 after meetings with high rank authorities of Iran, while receiving an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Tehran said:
Imam Khomeini was one of our symbols in paving our way, he was one of that heroes, that we by relying on them could continue our fight against apartheid.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
During our 25 years of close relations with South Africa, we successfully held 13 joint commissions which includes vast areas of cooperation. These sessions concluded to more than 25 MOU’s and separate agreements. Also the number of official high rank (minister and higher) visits go beyond 30.
 
We look forward to further expansion of relations with our South African partners, including, the development of a cooperative shipping and transport line, effective engagement in correspondent banking, increased tourism and sports activities.

To conclude, I would also like to take a moment and thank my fellow Iranian-South Africans. Your positive contribution to the South African society, as a whole, and your support of this Mission has been invaluable to all of us at the Embassy, and to me, in particular.  I wish you great success in all your endeavors.

Thank you, and may God Bless the people and government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of South Africa.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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February 2019

 
 
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