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"Tehran Street," Symbol of Mutual Ties
Reception Held on 31st Iran's Islamic Revolution
Cooperation Growing Ever between Tehran and Seoul
By Alex Ahn
Staff Reporter
Iranian Ambassador to Seoul Mohammad Reza Bakhtiari (6th from left) poses with other foreign envoys and local dignitaries at reception held in Seoul on Feb. 10, 2010 on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution.

Iranian Ambassador to Seoul Mohammad Reza Bakhtiari hosted a reception at a hotel in downtown Seoul on Feb. 10, 2010 on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of Islamic Revolution of Iran.

The dinner reception attracted hundreds of high-profile guests including scores of top foreign envoys serving in Seoul. They also included a number of local VIPs such as Kim Dae-Ki, vice minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

In his welcoming speech the Iranian envoy said that the trade volume between two nations in 2009 hit nearly 10 billion US dollars and should be greater next year.

He also said that both nations should aim for higher objectives through enhanced the mutual ties and continued cooperation.

Iranian Ambassador to Seoul Mohammad Reza Bakhtiari (3rd from right) poses with other ambassadors. Third from left is President Christine Park of Christine Foundation and to her left is her assistant Kim Ye-Seul. Second from right is Chairman Yun Ik-Han of The Seoul Times.

The bilateral ties between South Korea and Iran started on Oct. 23, 1962, when two countries established the diplomatic relations.

It was during 1970s that the exchanges of labor took place. Some 20,000 Korean workers were sent to Iran to construct buildings and roads.

As the bilateral economic cooperations developed the mutual friendships between Seoul and Tehran deepened.

In 1970s the two governments agreed to build a street of friendship named after each other’s capital – “Tehran Street” in Seoul and “Seoul Street” in Tehran.

“The Tehran Street” in Seoul Gangnam area, originally built in 1972, was named after the Iranian capital in 1977 when the Tehran mayor visited Seoul.

When a war broke out between Iran and Iraq in 1980 a number of Western corporations withdrew from Iran, which in turn provided for a good chance for the Korean businesses to set firm steps on the Iranian soil.

With its rich labor forces and technology South Korea became the best business partner to Iran in 1990s when the Middle Eastern nation was in the process of industrialization. For its part Iran became the major supplier of oil to Seoul.

Presently, economic cooperations are very active particularly in the areas of electronics, cars, ships, iron manufacturing, generating electricity, petro chemistry, communications, and semiconductor.

South Korea’s contributions to Iran have been strengthened in areas of developing oil and gas, and dam construction, and shipbuilding.

So far, Korea is the fourth largest trading partner to Iran, followed by EU, China, and Japan.

Mutual cooperations between Seoul and Tehran are also active in cultural areas as well.

An increasing number of Iranians are taking Taekwondo lessons throughout Iran and South Korean TV dramas are growing popular among the Iranians.

Nearly 1 million Iranians are taking Taekwondo lessons in about 2,000 academies in Iran.

Such South Korea’s TV dramas as “Jewel in the Palace (Daejangguem),” “Emperor of The Sea (Haeshin),” “Merchant of Chosun (Sangdo),” and “Prince of Legend (Jumong)” were broadcast on Iranian TVs.

For details or inquiries please contact the Iranian Embassy in Seoul at 793-7751/3






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