WHAT IS IRAN’S POSITION ON ARMENIAN GENOCIDE?
16:35 22/04/2013 ” COMMENTS
The 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be marked on April
24. Parliaments of many countries and international organizations
have recognized and condemned the Armenian Genocide.
As an Islamic country, which has close economic relations with Turkey,
Iran has had reserved and cautious policy on the Armenian Genocide
over the past years. However, it should be noted that members
of the Iranian Majlis of the sixth convocation have condemned the
Armenian Genocide. Iranian President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami visited
Tsitsernakaberd, where he laid a wreath at the Armenian Genocide
Memorial, during his official visit to Yerevan on September 9 2004. In
August 2010, Iranian Executive Vice President Hamid Baghai pronounced
the word “genocide” at a forum titled “Iran: bridge of victory” and
said, “The Ottoman Turkey government perpetrated genocide in 1915,
in which a certain number of Armenians were killed.”
As for current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during his
visits to Armenia in 2007 and 2012, perhaps in view of the condition
of Turkish-Iranian relations, he avoided visiting the Armenian Genocide
Memorial but said at a meeting in Yerevan State University that Tehran
condemns every crime committed in mankind’s history.
Besides, every year on April 24, the Iranian ambassador to Armenia
lays a wreath at the Armenian Genocide Memorial. Despite the fact that
the Iranian authorities have not recognized the Armenian Genocide,
they do not hinder official and unofficial media and public circles
to raise the issue of the Armenian Genocide. It is gladdening that
Persian-language TV channels outside Iran also touch upon the Armenian
Genocide, presenting the real truth to the Persian-language audience
of millions of people.
It should be noted that every year on April 24, the Armenian community
of Iran holds a march with placards condemning the Armenian Genocide,
holds a commemoration event at the Armenian Genocide Memorial near St.
Sarkis Church in Tehran, publishes books, launches Armenian-language
and Persian-language websites.
As for Iran’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, it is unlikely
to happen in the near future, but in view of the ups and downs in
Turkish-Iranian relations in the context of regional developments,
Tehran may toughen its position on the Armenian Genocide. Senior
Iranian clerics are already strongly criticizing Turkey’s Syria policy.
We believe that Tehran should learn lessons from the real results
of former friendship between Turkey and Syria and toughen its policy
towards Ankara, otherwise, judging by the policy of Turkey, it is not
ruled out that in the near future the “Syrian scenario” will be used
in Iran with Turkey’s support.
The Armenian Genocide has been recognized and condemned by Uruguay
(1965), the Republic of Cyprus (1982), Argentina (1993), Russia (1995),
Canada (1996), Greece (1996), Lebanon (1997), Belgium (1998), Italy
(2000), Vatican (2000), France (2001), Switzerland (2003), Slovakia
(2004), The Netherlands (2004), Poland (2005), Germany (2005),
Venezuela (2005), Lithuania (2005), Chile (2007), Sweden (2010). The
Armenian Genocide has also been recognized and condemned by Vatican,
the Council of Europe and the World Council of Churches.
Armen Israyelyan, Iranian studies expert
From: A. Papazian