Addressing a ceremony marking the 160th anniversary of Iran-Austria political ties, he added that the two countries have always tried to enhance bilateral relations.
The full text of Zarif's speech is as follows:
“Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honor for me to reappear in the beautiful and historic city of Vienna and attend such a great gathering.
Let me seize the opportunity to appreciate the Austrian nation and government for their hospitably towards President Hassan Rouhani which marks another turning point in in the long-standing relations between the two countries.
Today, we are celebrating the 160th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Iran and Austria since signing the first treaty of friendship in 1858 which led to reopening of Austria Embassy in Tehran and Iran’s Embassy in Vienna after a hiatus of 15 years.
As it is evident from the correspondences between the Iranian Safavid Dynasty and Austrian Habsburg Empire as well as exchange of diplomatic envoys between the two countries in 16th and 17th centuries, Iran-Austria ties date back to 500 years ago.
In 19th century, bilateral relations improved both in quality and quantity, especially in cultural and social fields. It is worth saying that Iran’s first modern school, that’s to say Tehran polytechnic known as Dar ol-Fonoun was established at this time and with the assistance from Austrian instructors who had been invited to teach medicine, geography, military skills and other sciences.
Later, the move helped attract Austrian physicians, engineers, artists, military advisors and specialists to visit Iran and engage actively in projects aimed at renovating Iran.
Since then the two nations have strengthened their ties. Iran was among the first countries to recognize Austrian Republic following the World War I in 1920. Afterwards, they signed major agreements in different fields. Copies of the deals are kept at Foreign Ministry’s Archive and some of them are on display at the ongoing exhibition featuring the two countries’ bilateral relations.
Another outstanding issues which are worth appreciating is valuable efforts of the great Austrian orientalist Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall who translated the anthology of the Iranian world-known poet Hafez into German language.
I do not intend to review history of bilateral ties and joint positive measures taken over the past two centuries, but I am interested in appreciating the very positive role of Austria in hosting and easing talks between Iran and 5+1 Group which led to conclusion of the landmark deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or what is really called ‘Vienna Agreement’.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Historic and cultural interactions between the two great nations played a crucial role in bilateral ties and we have collectively proved that diplomacy is efficient and it helps all the nations.
The historic exhibition attests to the advantages and outcomes of diplomacy as well as valuable role of diplomacy in creating constructive atmosphere for cooperation between the two nations.
At the end, let me thank the efforts of Austrian Academy of Sciences and Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Institute for Political and International Studies for organizing the ceremony.”
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