“Culture in Iran-Russia Relations” scientific meeting held at FWS
May 26, 2014
The scientific meeting on “Culture in Iran-Russia Relations” was held by Iranian World Studies Association and Islamic Culture and Relations Organization in Hananeh Hall of the Faculty of World Studies on Monday, May 15, 2017.
The first speaker of the meeting was Dr. Reza Maleki, Iranian cultural counselor to Russia who discussed the role of cultural diplomacy in the development of political and economic relations. He analyzed the three stages of cultural diplomacy, “Cultural diplomacy with as an instrument serving national interests with a focus on security and economics; development of cultural diplomacy into the third pillar after politics and economics; cultural diplomacy as the basis for foreign relations.”
Commenting on the value of the four periods of Iranian cultural counseling in Russia, Dr. Maleki added, “Russia is a culture-maker in the world and is internationally influential. Russia does not accept American influence and, considering its 15 percent Muslim population, it has a different view of Muslims.”
Dr. Maleki argued that Iranians and Russians have various cultural and historical elements in common and Iran is important for Russia for many reasons that necessitate the strategic relations between the two countries. “Many documents and agreements are signed between the two countries, but when technical and bank-related elements play a deterrent role in the development of economic relations, the main issue remains the lack of cognition between the two countries in relation to each other. We need to develop our cultural relations to a strategic level. Three domains of tourism, media, and cyberspace are critical and can put the two countries’ cultural relations on a new and stronger path.”
The next speaker of the meeting was Yuliya Zotova who talked about the importance, types, and factors that define contemporary Russia’s political culture.
The other speaker at the meeting was Dr. Zahra Mohamadi, Member of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature of the University of Tehran and Director of Russkiy Mir Foundation. Commenting on the concept of culture in Cultural Studies, she said that, “Culture is a process that constitutes a set of cognitions. It is that cognition is the most necessary instrument in cultural relations.”
“One aspect of cognition is governmental cognition. The other one is media, especially since the second half of the 20th century. Tourism and tourists are also important in the field of public cognition,” she added.
Remembering the large Muslim population of Russia, Dr. Mohamadi asked, “Does this Muslim population help the Russians in better knowing Iran and Iranian Muslim community?” She continued, “Cultural cognition must not and cannot remain unchanged during centuries. This cognition must be fluid and it can be fluid when there are new audience and new words to say.”
Director of Russkiy Mir Foundation concluded her speech by talking about the similarities between Iranians and Russians and said, “There have been good efforts and a positive job has been accomplished in cultural counselling, of which we can name using Iranian young individuals who are familiar with Russia and Russian language in the Islamic Republic of Iran Counseling in Russia.”