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Iran

(last updated: 25.07.2018)

Iran recognised the Republic of Estonia on 22 September 1921, when the Persian representative voted for the Republic of Estonia to be accepted as a member of the League of Nations. Iran re-recognised the Republic of Estonia on 10 September 1991.

Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Estonia and the Islamic Republic of Iran were established on 18 August 1992. The Iranian Ambassador to Estonia is Mr Kambiz Jalali, who resides in Helsinki. The Ambassador presented his credentials to President T. H. Ilves on 15 October 2015.

Estonian Ambassador to Iran, Mrs Marin Mõttus presented her credentials to the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani on 15 May 2018. Ambassador Mõttus resides in Ankara.

Armen Mootafian, Estonian Honorary Consul, has been acting in Iran since the autumn of 2013.

On 19 August 2015, the Estonia-Iran Parliamentary Group was formed in the Riigikogu, with its Chairman being Keit Pentus-Rosimannus. The group comprises six members of the Riigikogu.

The Iran-Estonia Parliamentary Group has been formed in the Iranian Parliament, with its Chairman being Anoushirvan Nourian.

Visits

September 2016Mahmoud Vaezi, Minister of Information and Communications Technology of Iran, visited Estonia

April 2016Marina Kaljurand, Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited Iran with a business delegation

May 2016Hassan Ghashghavi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular and Parliamentary Affairs of Iran, visited Tallinn

The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and Iran have held political consultations: in Tehran in February 2016, and in February 2017 in Tallinn.

Estonia has no bilateral agreements with Iran.

Economic relations between Estonia and Iran

Trade

In 2017, Iran ranked as the 67th export partner for Estonia, with a proportion of 0.1%. Exports of Estonian origin formed approximately 80% of exports to Iran. Imports amounted to 48,000 euros.

Estonian-Iranian trade 2012–2017 (in thousands of EUR)

Year Export Import

2012

8 715.8

83.6

2013

1 795.5

101.9

2014

2 724.9

53.8

2015

14 159.3

77.8

2016

12 888.8

11.2

2017 5 355.8 48.5

In the years 2015-2016, the main export has been barley (ca. 70% of exports). Other main exports were timber and timber products (22%), whose volume rose by nearly 56% in 2016.

In 2016, imports were mainly vegetable products, ripe melons and papayas.

Based on the data of Creditinfo Eesti AS, 15 Estonian companies exported goods to Iran in 2016.

Direct investments

Based on the data of Eesti Pank as of 31 December 2017, Iranian direct investments in Estonia amounted to 453,000 euros. Investments were made in various sectors: the processing industry, construction, wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and foodservice companies, information and communications, financial and insurance activities as well as real estate.

As of May 2017, 27 companies with Iranian shareholding were registered the Estonian Commercial Register.

Estonia has no direct investments in Iran.

Cultural relations

Cultural cooperation with Iran has been relatively lively and it is based on mutual cultural contacts.

In 2008, the musical group Resonabilis performed in Tehran.

In February 2015, the chamber orchestra “Klaaspärlimäng Sinfonietta” participated in the Fajir Festival in Tehran.

In 2016, the Iranian band Barfak performed in the Tallinn Music Week Festival.

In the summer of 2010, Homayun Ghanizadeh, one of the most noteworthy Iranian directors, directed the play “Antigone” within the framework of the Estonian theatre project “R.A.A.A.M.”, which was performed in the Tehran theatre festival in 2011 and 2012.

In September 2014, an Estonian-Iranian theatre cooperation week was held within the framework of the Vaba Lava project in Tallinn, with Iranian actors and directors also participating.

Estonian films have repeatedly participated in Iranian film festivals: in 2003, the Estonian film “Ferdinand” was announced the best feature film in the short films competition in Tehran; and in 2014, the Estonian-Georgian film “Tangerines” was awarded the prize for the best picture and the best screenplay in the Fajr International Film Festival.

Iranian films, including the films of Abbas Kiarostami, the Iranian cinematic arts maestro, have been represented in the programme of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival: nearly 10 films produced in Iran or with the collaboration of Iran in 2016; and four films in 2015.

Educational relations

Persian courses began in the University of Tartu at the end of the 19th century. Currently, it is possible to study Persian (Farsi) in the University of Tartu and Tallinn University.

The interest of Iranian students in Estonian universities has increased. In the 2016/17 academic year, 59 Iranian students are studying in Estonia – mainly in the Tallinn University of Technology, the University of Tartu, and the Estonian University of Life Sciences.

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