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.
|Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon sign a joint declaration at their fourth summit, which wrapped up August 5 in Tehran.|
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 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 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 have 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 its 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 the 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 the Achaemenid dynasty 2,500 years
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 the
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
state of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and
the Republic of Tajikistan was compiled in 14 articles and signed by the three
presidents who plan 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.
In the 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.
In the 11th article, the three countries stressed the
importance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and underlined the
inalienable right of the NPT member states to use nuclear power for peaceful
purposes under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The fifth joint summit of the presidents of Iran, Tajikistan
and Afghanistan will be held next year and its date will be announced very
Overall, it seems that the expansion of relations between
the three Persian-speaking countries, which 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.
Ziabari is an Iranian independent, freelance journalist.