Comments 16:35 22/04/2013

What is Iran’s position on Armenian Genocide?

The 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be marked on April 24. Parliaments of many countries and international organizations have recognized and condemned the Armenian Genocide. 

As an Islamic country, which has close economic relations with Turkey, Iran has had reserved and cautious policy on the Armenian Genocide over the past years. However, it should be noted that members of the Iranian Majlis of the sixth convocation have condemned the Armenian Genocide. Iranian President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami visited Tsitsernakaberd, where he laid a wreath at the Armenian Genocide Memorial, during his official visit to Yerevan on September 9 2004. In August 2010, Iranian Executive Vice President Hamid Baghai pronounced the word “genocide” at a forum titled “Iran: bridge of victory” and said, “The Ottoman Turkey government perpetrated genocide in 1915, in which a certain number of Armenians were killed.”

As for current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during his visits to Armenia in 2007 and 2012, perhaps in view of the condition of Turkish-Iranian relations, he avoided visiting the Armenian Genocide Memorial but said at a meeting in Yerevan State University that Tehran condemns every crime committed in mankind’s history. Besides, every year on April 24, the Iranian ambassador to Armenia lays a wreath at the Armenian Genocide Memorial. Despite the fact that the Iranian authorities have not recognized the Armenian Genocide, they do not hinder official and unofficial media and public circles to raise the issue of the Armenian Genocide. It is gladdening that Persian-language TV channels outside Iran also touch upon the Armenian Genocide, presenting the real truth to the Persian-language audience of millions of people. 

It should be noted that every year on April 24, the Armenian community of Iran holds a march with placards condemning the Armenian Genocide, holds a commemoration event at the Armenian Genocide Memorial near St. Sarkis Church in Tehran, publishes books, launches Armenian-language and Persian-language websites.

As for Iran’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, it is unlikely to happen in the near future, but in view of the ups and downs in Turkish-Iranian relations in the context of regional developments, Tehran may toughen its position on the Armenian Genocide. Senior Iranian clerics are already strongly criticizing Turkey’s Syria policy.

We believe that Tehran should learn lessons from the real results of former friendship between Turkey and Syria and toughen its policy towards Ankara, otherwise, judging by the policy of Turkey, it is not ruled out that in the near future the “Syrian scenario” will be used in Iran with Turkey’s support.

The Armenian Genocide has been recognized and condemned by Uruguay (1965), the Republic of Cyprus (1982), Argentina (1993), Russia (1995), Canada (1996), Greece (1996), Lebanon (1997), Belgium (1998), Italy (2000), Vatican (2000), France (2001), Switzerland (2003), Slovakia (2004), The Netherlands (2004), Poland (2005), Germany (2005), Venezuela (2005), Lithuania (2005), Chile (2007), Sweden (2010). The Armenian Genocide has also been recognized and condemned by Vatican, the Council of Europe and the World Council of Churches.


Armen Israyelyan, Iranian studies expert


 



Source Panorama.am
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