Iran–Serbia relations

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Serbian-Iranian relations
Map indicating locations of Iran and Serbia

Iran

Serbia

Iran–Serbia relations are diplomatic relations between Iran and Serbia. Iran has an embassy in Belgrade[1] and Serbia has an embassy in Tehran.[2] In 2017, the government of Serbia announced that in order to improve bilateral relations as well as to attract tourists and investors to Serbia, it has passed a legislation to abolish visa requirements for citizens of Iran and India intending to travel to the country.[3]

History[edit]

Iranian theory of the historic origin of Serbs[edit]

Historians have stated that it is remotely possible that Serbs historically originated from the early Persian tribes in the Caucasus.[4] Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad acknowledged that the same theory may be a reliable explanation for the origin of Croats,[5] who have historically lived in very close proximity of Serbs.

Relations[edit]

Iran Air's refueling hub in Belgrade[edit]

From March to June 2011, Iran Air made scheduled landings in Belgrade for fueling aircraft which had been denied kerosene in airports in the European Union.[6] After 18 June 2011, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport revoked landing rights for Iran Air,[7] citing pressure from the United States.[8]

NAM relationship[edit]

In September 2011, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammed Akondzadeh, visited Serbia during the annual NAM council held in Belgrade that year,[9] and claimed that Iran doesn't recognize Kosovo as a sovereign nation, and that he hoped friendly relations between Serbia and Iran would progress further.[10] Less than a year later, Ivan Mrkić traveled to Tehran to represent Serbia at the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. It was reported on 31 August 2012 that Mrkić addressed the summit participants that Serbia wishes to remain engaged with NAM member states while devoting to accession to the EU.[11]

Conflicting EU interest[edit]

Serbia, despite having been severely sanctioned and isolated by the west for eight years during the existence of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, reportedly put sanctions on Iran as a part of EU accession procedure, according to local media in November 2012.[12] The announcement of sanctions met very harsh criticism among Serbian media and political writers and reflected a divide between the actions of the Serbian government and the opinions of Serbian citizens.[13][14] Professor Predrag Simić of the UB Faculty of Political Science said in an interview with S Media that Iran seemed to be tolerant of the Serbian government's accession into the EU, and inferred that it was possible that relations with Iran would not be as damaged as they are with other western nation's despite Serbia's sanctions.[15] In 2013, Serbia's ambassador in Tehran Aleksandar Tasić met with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; the meeting was cited by Mohammad Reza Rahimi in a note of congratulations to Serbia's state holiday on February 15, in which it was stated that there are "no impediments" to further relations between Tehran and Belgrade.[16]

Visa abolition agreement[edit]

On August 23, 2017, the government of Serbia announced on its website that citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as those of India can travel to Serbia without applying to obtain visas.[17] This agreement was abolished by the Serbian government over EU pressure on 8 October 2018[18], and the abolition entered into force on 17 October 2018.[19]

Culture[edit]

Along with the Iranian embassy, there is also an Iranian cultural center located in Belgrade.[20] An Iranian film festival is held annually at the Filmography Museum in Belgrade.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ambasada Irana obežila Nacionalni praznik u Beogradu, danas.rs, 11 February 2012.
  2. ^ Aleksandar Tasić – novi ambasador Srbije u Iranu, ekapija.com, 9 November 2009.
  3. ^ InSerbia Network Foundation: Serbia abolishes visas for Iran and India 23 August 2017
  4. ^ Miodrag Milanović, Srpski stari vek, Beograd, 2008, page 81 (dead link).
  5. ^ Ahmadinejad calls for expansion of Iran-Croatia ties[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Photos: Airbus A300B4-605R Aircraft Pictures, Airliners.net, 28 March 2011.
  7. ^ Aerodrom „Nikola Tesla“ otkazao usluge kompaniji "Iran air", Blic Online, 25 June 2011.
  8. ^ Iran Air ends Belgrade technical stop, EX-YU Aviation News, 24 June 2011.
  9. ^ RTS – Nesvrstani ponovo u Beogradu (Serbian)
  10. ^ Iran ne priznaje Kosovo, Kurir, 7 September 2011.
  11. ^ B92 - Serbian foreign minister addresses NAM summit Archived 1 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  12. ^ Vesti Online (Serbian): Srbija uvela sankcije Iranu 3 November 2012
  13. ^ Srbin: БРУКА: Србија увела санкције Ирану! 3 November 2012
  14. ^ Standard: MIHAIL VAŠČENKO: ZAŠTO SRBIJA KAŽNJAVA IRAN I BELORUSIJU Archived 9 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine 20 November 2012
  15. ^ S Media: Srbija u EU: Uvodimo sankcije zemljama koje nisu priznale Kosovo? Archived 11 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine 3 November 2012
  16. ^ Fars News Agency: VP: Iran Keep to Develop Ties with Serbia Archived 10 April 2013 at Archive.today 15 February 2013
  17. ^ InSerbia Network Foundation: Serbia abolishes visas for Iran and India 23 August 2017
  18. ^ AP News 23 October 2018
  19. ^ Statemant by the Embassy of The Republic of Serbia Tehran
  20. ^ "Kulturni centar I.R. Irana u Beogradu – Zvanicni Portal (Serbian)". Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  21. ^ Serbia hosts Iranian Film Festival in Belgrade, Press TV, 7 March 2012.