Region 11:14 09/04/2015

Iranian-Armenian students send open letter to Hassan Rouhani urging to recognize Armenian Genocide

The Iranian-Armenian students have turned to Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani with an open letter urging to recognize the Armenian Genocide, Iranian Armenian community site Hayeli.com reports.

The authors of the letter have drawn Iran’s President’s attention to the unconstructive policy of Turkey in the region noting that today Turkey does not only deny the Genocide committed against around 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, but also sponsors the terrorist groups in the region which slaughter numerous innocent civilians in Syria and Iraq.

Highlighting the peaceful coexistence of various ethnical and religious minorities in Iran, the Iranian-Armenian students call on Hassan Rouhani to recognize the Armenian Genocide thus preventing such atrocities in the future.

Despite their serious disagreements concerning the regional issues, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey maintain mutually beneficial economic relations.

As a Muslim country, Iran has been conducting a moderate and cautious policy regarding the Armenian Genocide over the last years. Remarkably, however, the MPs of the 6th Majlis of Iran condemned the Armenian Genocide. Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, then President of Iran, visited Tsitsernakaberd during his official visit to Yerevan on September 9, 2004. Vice president of Iran, Hamid Baghaei, pronounced the word ‘genocide’ during the conference ‘Iran: The Bridge of Victory’ in August 2010. “The government of Ottoman Turkey committed genocide in 1915; and a certain number of Armenians fell victim to it,” he said. However, the statement was refuted not to aggravate the relations with Turkey.

Although the former IRI President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, avoided going to Tsitsernakaberd during his official visit to Armenia in 2007, in a meeting with the students of Yerevan State University he said that Tehran condemns any crime committed in the course of the human history in response to a question about the Armenian Genocide.

The recent years have seen some changes in the position of official Tehran regarding the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian community of Iran not only holds a number of events without facing obstacles, but also they have been allowed to hold protests in front of the Turkish Embassy in Iran in the past two years. 

Taking into consideration the peculiarities of the Iranian diplomacy, Tehran is unlikely to recognize the Armenian Genocide today, no matter how tense the Iran-Turkey relations become.

However, both the political and religious elite of Iran, as well as ordinary citizens admit the fact of the Armenian Genocide, as according to the Iranian sources, the Ottoman Turks have not only perpetrated genocide against the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, but also have slaughtered many Iranians in Urmia Region in 1918. 

As regards Iran, an important circumstance should also be highlighted: unlike many Christian countries, as well as Israel that has suffered genocide, either the political or the legislative authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran have never played on the issue of the Armenian Genocide in discussing their relations with Turkey.

By Armen Israyelyan, Iranian studies expert



Source Panorama.am
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