India, Iran celebrate golden jubilee of cultural relations

Iran Materials 13 January 2007 14:44 (UTC +04:00)

(IRNA) - A golden jubilee celebration was held by India and Iran to mark 50 years of cultural relations Friday night here in the premises of the Islamic Republic of Iran Culture House.

The celebration, which was inaugurated by Siyawush Zargar Yaghoubi, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in New Delhi, was witnessed and enjoyed by a large gathering of Indian and Iranian scholars, men of culture and letters and their family members, reports Trend.

In the celeberation, organized by the Culture House of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ambassador of Iran to India Zargar Yaghoubi elaborated on Indo-Iran relations during the ages.

Iran and India enjoy a number of ethnic and civilizational commonalities which is rare among other countries, Yaghoubi said, adding that both nations have the same ethnic roots and culture and have lived harmoniously throughout all these years.

Highlighting the strengthening relations with India, the ambassador said that in 2006 alone India and Iran exchanged around 40 delegations, some at the ministerial level, and the visit of the Iranian foreign minister to India two months ago was the latest of these exchanges.

On the economic front, the two countries also enjoy an upward trend in the level of their trade exchanges, rising from USD 600 million in 2001 to USD 6 billion in 2005. Out of this figure, USD 764 million was accounted for by non-oil exports of Iran to India and USD 1.129 billion by exports of India to Iran. The two countries' trade volume grew by 40 percent in 2005 compared with the figure in 2004, he added.

Meanwhile, M S Shakeeb, cultural counsellor of the Islamic Republic of Iran Culture House, New Delhi, also termed Indo-Iranian cultural relations as "very excellent."

"During these 50 years, cultural relations between our two countries have remained on top priority and the officials and representatives of two countries have rendered distinguished services for expanding and strengthening them," Shakeb said.

"One of the objectives of these celebrations is to record our appreciation and thanks to those who have rendered commendable services in the field of cultural relations between Iran and India," the counsellor added.

Mohammad Hussain Muzaffari, director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Culture House in New Delhi, while welcoming and expressing thanks to the scholars, officials and other guests for their presence, termed the signing of the agreement for promoting cultural relations and cooperation between India and Iran 50 years ago as a milestone in efforts to perpetuate the age-old relations between the two countries.

The highlight of the golden jubilee celebration, in which a number of Indian scholars, literary personalities were honored for their contribution to expanding and strengthening the cultural relations between India and Iran, was a musical program rendered by the six-member Ravi troop, which enthralled the audience with its renditions of traditional Iranian music.

An exhibition of Iranian art crafts has also been organized as part of the golden jubilee celebration of Indo-Iran cultural relations at Iran's Culture House which will continue for a week.

The exhibition has attracted a large number of people.