Georgia–Iran relations

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Georgia-Iran relations
Map indicating locations of Georgia and Iran

Georgia

Iran

Iran and Georgia have had relations for millennia, although official diplomatic relations between the two nations in the 20th century were established on May 15, 1992.[1] Georgia is represented by its embassy in Tehran, while Iran has its representative embassy in Tblisi. Iran is an important trade partner of Georgia.[2]

Context[edit]

Eastern Georgia, throughout its history, has been several times been annexed by the Persian Empire, specifically under the Achaemenid, Parthian, Sassanid, Safavid, Afsharid and Qajar dynasties. Western Georgia, throughout its history had been annexed by the Persian Achaemenids, Sassanids and Afsharids. Due to this, there has been a lot of political, cultural and ethnic exchange between the two nations, and thus Georgia was and is often considered a part of Greater Iran.[3]

Historical relations[edit]

Iran (Persia) and Georgia, or the Georgian tribes, have had relations in different forms starting from the Achaemenid Era through trade. The relationship got more complex as the Safavids took power in Iran and attempted to maintain Iranian control of the Georgian kingdoms. This continued until Russia conquered the Caucasus and Georgia in the 1800s from the Qajars.

20th century[edit]

Until the early 1990s, Iran-Georgia relations were merged into Iran-Soviet relations. Since Georgia's independence from the Soviet Union, the two nations have cooperated in many fields including energy, transport, trade, education, and science. Iran is one of Georgia's most important trading partners and an Intergovernmental Joint Economic Commission is functioning between the two countries.[1]

2008 Russia–Georgia conflict[edit]

Due to its close relations with both Russia and Georgia, Iran at first attempted to remain relatively neutral throughout the war and beyond. The Foreign Minister of Iran Manouchehr Mottaki deemed a new cold war possible and predicted that external powers would suffer as the US and its allies had done in Afghanistan and Iraq.[4] Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi called "for an immediate halt to the clashes" and offer to help.[5]

After Russia and its closest allies chose to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Ambassador of Iran to Russia, Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi, said in early February 2009 that his nation will not recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia's independence in the near future, "as it can cause war in many areas," but on the other hand he did not rule out eventual Iranian recognition of the independence of the two areas. However, Sajjadi defended Russia's measures in the 2008 South Ossetia war and its decision to recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent nations. Sajjadi also said he sympathised with the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and that Tehran will work with Moscow to develop the two areas' economy.[6]

2010 to present[edit]

The beginning of 2010 saw increasing cooperation between the two countries. Nowadays Iran is considered one of the most important trade partners of Georgia. Agents from Iran's foreign ministry visited Tbilisi in May 2010 to discuss Iranian investment in the construction of a hydroelectric plant in Georgia as well as Iran's intentions to import electricity from the country.[7] The meeting lead to president Mikheil Saakashvili inviting his Iranian counterpart Mahmood Ahmadinejad to Tbilisi.[7]

Over the past decade, Tehran has also assigned agreements with Tblisi for elimination of double taxation and encouraging investment in air, surface, and sea transport, and customs and trade cooperation. Seeking to diversify transit routes for its cargo shipments, Iran has an interest in Georgia's transit capacity and considers the country to be a viable alternative route for shipping freight to Europe. It is expected

In late May 2010 Iranian ambassador Majid Samadzade Saber announced that Iran and Georgia intend to lift visa restrictions for travel between the countries, which officially came in force in January 2011.[2] According to the Iranian Ambassador, Iran and Georgia are holding talks on opening an Iranian consulate in Batumi, western Georgia.[8] The announcement was scheduled during Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki's visit to Tbilisi scheduled later in the month.

During a meeting with new Georgian Ambassador to Iran Ioseb Chakhvashvili in Tehran in April 2014, Zarif said Iran and Georgia enjoy historical and friendly relations. The Iranian foreign minister added that there are many capacities for the expansion of Tehran-Tbilisi ties, particularly in the economic and parliamentary spheres.

Chakhvashvili, for his part, pointed to cordial Iran-Georgia ties and the ample grounds for closer cooperation between the two countries. In November 18, 2013, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said his administration would strive to strengthen Tbilisi-Tehran friendship bonds. In a meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific and Commonwealth Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour in Tbilisi, Margvelashvili described cordial ties between the two countries as rooted in history and strong.[9]

Ambassadors of Iran to Georgia[edit]

Ambassadors of Georgia to Iran[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Ali Attār, Georgians in Iran, in Persian, Jadid Online, 2008, [1].
    A Slide Show of Georgians in Iran by Ali Attār, Jadid Online, 2008, [2] (5 min 31 sec).