By Adkhamjon Janobiddinov

Uzbekistan–Iran relations: Historical ties and modern cooperation

February 26, 2023 - 22:35

Since ancient times, Persia and the countries in the area of modern Uzbekistan had diplomatic relations in terms of trade, economy, and many other important factors.

It is also important to mention that tourists often notice the influence of Persian architecture in some historical buildings in Uzbekistan. Also, there are some Timurid monuments in Iran that remind unique architecture of the Timurid Empire. It indicates that historically these countries had close relations. Today, again these two countries, Uzbekistan and Iran have really good diplomatic relations.

After Iran recognized the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan and established diplomatic relations between the two countries, the embassy of Iran in Tashkent opened in November 1992, and the embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Tehran in May 1995. The first visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to Iran took place in November 1992. On April 26-28, 2002, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Khatami paid an official visit to the Republic of Uzbekistan.

In September 2022, President of Iran Islamic Republic Ibrahim Raisi paid an official visit to the Republic of Uzbekistan for the first time. The negotiations between the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ebrahim Raisi took place at the Samarkand Congress Center. The President of Uzbekistan congratulated President Ibrahim Raisi on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

During the talks, the leaders discussed expanding the practical cooperation in the political, trade and economic, investment, transport and logistics, cultural and humanitarian areas. It is also essential to note that the Uzbek-Iranian relations have gained a strong development in recent years. For instance, the trade turnover increased by 73% in 2021. And it has been noted that there are great opportunities to further increase the trade turnover – up to $1 billion in the near future.

During the negotiations, particular attention was paid to the transport and logistics collaboration. It was noted that establishing road transport along the “Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran” route, the effective use of “Chabahar” port’s potential and the facilitation of goods entry and transit shall expand the opportunities in this direction. One of the highlights from the meeting, Ebrahim Raisi has invited the President of Uzbekistan to pay a return visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran at his convenience.

While talking about Uzbekistan and Iran, it is important to mention cultural and historical ties. There are many beautiful historical monuments in cities like Samarkand, Bukhara which are designed by Iranian architects. For instance, it is said in history books that Amir Timur invited very skilled artisans from Isfahan, Shiraz and other ancient cities of Iran to Samarkand and they built very big and fascinating mosques, madrasas.

Furthermore, there are also some historical constructions in Iran built under Timurids, such as Gawharshad Mosque in Mashhad. There is also much similarity in cultures and Persian language was spoken in Central Asia for many centuries, which is why, there are some similar words in Persian and Uzbek languages. Last but not least, Uzbekistan is home to many pilgrimage places and mausoleums of great Islamic scholars like Imam al-Bukhari. Iranian people are always welcome to visit those places and enjoy Uzbek hospitality. 

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