Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan:
Diplomacy of Brotherhood
By Kourosh Ziabari
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 19, 2010
The trilateral summit of the presidents of three
Persian-speaking countries of Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan wrapped up
on August 5 in Tehran and recorded another unforgettable event in the
memory of the three brother nations. With innumerable cultural, religious,
social, lingual and strategic commonalities, the three countries of Iran,
Tajikistan and Afghanistan have demonstrated their potentiality to build
one of the strongest diplomatic partnerships in the region and benefit the
world nations through a unique, fruitful and constructive cooperation.
The people of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, whose countries were parts
of the Greater Persia in ancient times, consider Iran as their cultural
homeland and believe that the Iranian nation is the inheritor of their
paternal legacy, the Persian civilization.
I had the opportunity
to conduct an exclusive interview with the Tajikistan ambassador in Tehran
for the local weekly magazine last month in which I discovered for the
first time that the roots of cordiality and affinity between Iran,
Tajikistan and Afghanistan are so deep and robust that one can hardly
imagine. The Tajikistani ambassador Ramadan Mirza talked of Iran so
enthusiastically and passionately that I felt for a while that he is in
actuality more Iranian than I am. He called Iran a brother nation several
times, talked of Tehran as an ancient and respectable city, paid homage to
the antiquity and preciousness of Persian language as the common heritage
of Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan and told me of his early childhood's
aspiration of visiting Iran. He told me that when, under the soviet
dominance, he was attending the high school in Tajikistan, he read about
the historical sites of Iran such as the mausoleum of Persian poet Saadi,
the tomb of Cyrus the Great or the ancient site of Persepolis in his
school textbooks and since then, it became his ambition to visit these
sites one day. He said that when he was selected to his mission as the
Tajikistan ambassador in Tehran, his 50-year-long dream came true and he
finally succeeded in visiting the sites which seemed to him unreachable
and inaccessible long ago. Mr. Mirza told me that it is his honor to serve
as his country's ambassador in Tehran where he can freely visit the four
corners of Iran whenever he likes.
It was in this interview that
Mr. Mirza revealed for the first time that the Tajikistani President
Emomali Rahmon has formally asked his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad that the Nowrouz festival of 2011 be held in Persepolis which
is actually the native soil of Nowrouz.
Nowrouz is a set of ancient
festivities held at the beginning of vernal equinox to mark the
commencement of new solar year.
He also pointed to the fact the
despite the longstanding dominance of Russia over the newly-established
state of Tajikistan, the Tajik people has never forgotten their maternal
Persian language. It's noteworthy that since Tajikistan was separated from
the Greater Persia during the Russo-Persian wars of 1860s, the Soviet
rulers launched a de-Persianization project in Tajikistan where almost
everyone would speak Persian and write in the Iranian alphabet. The
history of Russia's relations with Iran narrates the bitter story that the
Eastern superpower never dealt with Iran in a sincere, truthful and loyal
manner. Traditionally, the Iranian nation thinks of Russia as a betraying,
hypocritical and oppressive state which has shown its hostility towards
the Southern neighbor on various occasions. One clear instance is the de-Persianization
project in which the national media outlets, schools, public offices and
universities of Tajikistan were banned from using the Persian alphabet and
forced to employ Cyrillic alphabet instead. This was an artificial and
uninteresting incorporation of the Russian culture into Tajikistan which
had been an inseparable constituent of Iran's large puzzle of cultural
heritage since the establishment of Achaemenid dynasty 2500 years ago.
Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan have the capability to form a
powerful political coalition. They share the same language, religion and
cultural background and this is something which is a rarity in the
contemporary world. They have common ideological objectives and since
they've historically suffered from the subjugation of the superpowers,
they seek independence and freedom. The closeness of the three countries
is evident in their broad collaborations in various fields including
academic exchanges, agricultural cooperation, military ties, financial
relations and cultural collaborations. The three countries are slated to
launch a trilateral Persian-language TV channel which is based in Dushanbe
and will be broadcasting programs produced by each party. A long railway
will be connecting the three countries in near future. All of them are the
members of Organization of Islamic Conference and Non-Aligned Movement.
They also sit at the same table in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
as member states.
The joint declaration of the fourth summit of
the heads of states of Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of
Afghanistan and Republic of Tajikistan was compiled in 14 articles and
signed by the three presidents who have planned to hold the fifth joint
meeting in Afghanistan in 2011.
In the 5th article, the three
brother countries emphasized the importance of trilateral financial
relations and highlighted the expansion of economic transactions through
empowering and assisting the merchants and investors of each country.
In the 7th article, the three parties supported the development of
cultural, scientific and educational cooperation and underscored the
significance of joint planning for collaboration in the fields of culture,
literature, history, common cultural heritage and sports.
9th article, they announced their complete readiness to combat extremism,
terrorism, organized crimes and drug trafficking which pose serious
threats to the security and stability of the three countries.
the 11th article, the three countries stressed the importance of Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty and underlined the inalienable right of the NPT
member states to use the nuclear power for peaceful purposes under the
safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
joint summit of the presidents of Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan will be
held next year and its date will be announced very soon.
it seems that the expansion of relations between the three
Persian-speaking countries who are bound together through ancient cultural
ties will serve to meet the interests of the Central Asian and Middle
Eastern nations and contribute to the sustainable and durable stability
and development in the region.