You are here

Iran

(last updated: 13.12.2019)

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. From October 2015 until August 2018 the Iranian Ambassador to Estonia was Mr Kambiz Jalali, who resided in Helsinki. Since January 2019 an acting Head of Mission is Mr Mohammad Mahdi Akhoundzadeh Basti.

Estonian Ambassador to Iran from May 2018 until July 2019 was Mrs Marin Mõttus. Ambassador resided in Ankara.

Estonian Honorary Consul in Iran is Armen Mootafian, since the autumn of 2013.

Visits

September 2018 – Iranian Parliament Estonian Friendship Group visited Estonia

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, in Tallinn in February 2017 and in Tehran in January 2019.

Estonia has no bilateral agreements with Iran.

Economic relations between Estonia and Iran

Trade

In 2018, Iran ranked as the 87th export partner for Estonia, with a proportion of 0.1%. Exports of Estonian origin formed approximately 89% of exports to Iran. 

Estonian-Iranian trade 2012–2018 (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

2018

3 579.5 86.5

In 2018, the main export articles were related to timber - timber and timber products (43% of exports), paper and paper products (16%) and also machinery and equipment (22%).

In 2018, imports were mainly vegetable products, ripe melons and papayas (67%), also products from glass (32%).

Based on the data of Creditinfo Eesti AS, 12 Estonian companies exported goods to Iran in 2017.

Direct investments

Based on the data of Eesti Pank as of 31 December 2018, Iranian direct investments in Estonia amounted to 362,000 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 2018, 36 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.

In April 2019 the play of Sofi Oksanen "When the Doves Disappeared" about an Estonian history, was published in Persian, presented at the Tehran Book Fair. 

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 2018/19 academic year, 89 Iranian students studied in Estonia – mainly in the Tallinn University of Technology, the University of Tartu, and the Estonian University of Life Sciences.

About Estonia

Get closer acquainted with Estonia, coming here for a visit, studies, business or investments!

Official Estonian Gateway

Get closer acquainted with Estonia and see what are the most important facts and main areas of activity here.

Digital Society

Estonia has
transformed itself into
one of Europe’s business success stories of the last decade, mainly thanks to the sophisticated e-solutions available here.