04, 2009

Address by President Serzh Sargsyan during the meeting with the Armenian-Iranian community

album picture
Your Eminences,
Dear Friends,

I am happy for this occasion to meet with you and bring you warm greetings from Armenia. As you know, I have arrived to the Islamic Republic of Iran on official visit. I would like to note with great satisfaction that friendly peoples and states of Iran and Armenia have warm human relations on one hand, and practical and mutually beneficial working relations on the other. I assess my negotiations here as successful and expressed gratitude to our Iranian colleagues for their constructive approach and readiness to develop further the multifaceted Iranian-Armenian relations.

I know that Iran’s warm feelings for Armenians and Armenia is formed greatly thanks to the stance and qualities of the Armenian-Iranian community. Meetings with the leadership of Iran convinced me of that once again. The Armenian-Iranian community has justly won that respect both in Iran and in Armenia. It is not accidental that this positive attitude toward the Armenian-Iranian community in engraved in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Dear Compatriots,

Relations between Armenia and Iran are as ancient as the two peoples. History and culture of our two nations have the same roots. Moreover, on the roads of history destinies of our two peoples intertwined; almost eternally the Armenians and the Iranians have been creating in one cadence, inspired by the same values.

Iran supported Armenia and the Armenians in dismal times. Some of those who managed to escape massacres and Genocide in the end of nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries found refuge also in this land. Seventeen years ago, Iran once again landed a helping hand to the Armenian people who were fighting for their independence and freedom and became a lifeline for the Armenians who were fighting in blockade.

The twentieth century rightly became the golden age for the Iranian Armenians. Throughout the last century, the Armenians of Iran were returning their gratitude to the people of Iran with their wit and work, served this nation and contributed to its progress. In science and in the arts, in economic and social life, the Armenians have been contributing to the wellbeing of Iran and strengthening its statehood. It couldn’t be any other way. As Paryur Sevak says, we are called Armenians.

We can break the foe’s ribs
And lend a hand to our friend
And for the good that’s made just once
Repay tenfold and many times

Armenian churches, schools and libraries, numerous public and spiritual centers, voluminous literary heritage flourished and became inseparable part of Iran’s spiritual and cultural legacy.

Prudent culture and hospitable soil of Iran promoted the preservation of the Armenian language and identity, added to their strengthening and development. It is no coincidence that in 2008 UNESCO recognized marvelous Armenian monuments of Saint Thaddeus Apostle – the Tadie Monastery part of the Iranian world historical heritage. However, it is not only churches, monuments and manuscripts that admire and inspire us but the sons of the Armenian nation who created them – the Iranian Armenians. We bow to their talent and genius of their hands which served the wellbeing of the Armenian and the Iranian peoples.

Thus, today to be a good Iranian Armenian means to be an active citizen, a good son of this country.

The largest Christian community of Iran – the Armenian community – today has a great source of pride, admiration, and inspiration - serene friendship of the two Motherlands. Iran, which never lost its statehood on the crossroads of history, neighbors today with friendly Armenia. This is a really fine example of good-neighborly relations, peace, and friendship.

And it is our duty to introduce the wisdom of the Armenian-Iranian peace and stability throughout the region.

For us tolerance, peace and cooperation are not just notions. Wisdom of our peoples translated those notions into reality.

It is true, that statebuilding of our two nations went down different ways: we have different laws, different programs, and different faith. But our interests coincide, our values concur, our wishes agree, and we trust in God.

This is the Armenian-Iranian lesson to our region – to employ diversity to promote prosperity and peace. And this precept is sanctified by the special historic mission of the Armenians of Iran – to fortify the columns of the friendship of the two nations.

Dear Compatriots,

In the twenty-first century the Armenian people are building their independent and sovereign state, create free and just society, give the splendors of its fruits and scent of their land to the world, present to the humanity melody of their songs and many facets of their culture, make their intelligence to serve them, their neighbors, and the world.

By the whim of destiny, the Armenian of the 21st century is a cosmopolitan – he is a citizen of Russia and the United States, Germany and France, Lebanon and Israel, Peru and Ecuador.

Our mission in this world is clear: the Armenian must be a good citizen of his country regardless of where he lives. A good Armenian is a good citizen of Iran, Brazil, or the Netherlands.

Our people have seen immeasurable sufferings, deprivation and dismay, but were able to turn those sufferings into values, into knowledge and culture. Our people have found the philosophical stone which turns pain and sorrow into life and happiness, difficulties and deprivation – into experience and confidence. The nature has endowed us with this great treasure and bliss.

We are promised nothing from above – our past was given to us and our present is earned with blood and sweat, our blood and our sweat, not others’. Today we are turning into reality the All-Armenian dream – we are building the Armenian state. We are trying to do it remembering words of wisdom of the great Rudaki:

Make the foundations of your house strong
Strong foundations will protector and guard.

Yes, we are determined to solve the problems facing our country. You know of course that the negotiations for the peaceful resolution of the NK conflict are underway. I see it as my duty to inform you that the position of the Republic of Armenia on this issue is unaltered. Under no circumstance can Karabakh be surrendered to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan’s claims for Artsakh have neither legal, nor historical, nor moral base. Nagorno Karabakh cannot be part of Azerbaijan – with this regard Azerbaijan has abused all possible trust long ago.

The Armenian-Turkish relations are being discussed in Armenian, Turkish and international media at length. Sometimes, suppositions or prognosis or good wishes are being presented as facts. The truth is we are ready to establish normal relations with Turkey without preconditions. Up to date Turkey has not been ready to do it. Now it looks like there are come possibilities of exiting that unacceptable situation when neighboring states do not even have diplomatic relations. But here, in this hall I want to say once again that to establishment relations with Turkey does not mean to abandon the Genocide issue.

As you know, during this last year Armenia has encountered a calamity which befell also the entire world – the global economic and financial crisis. Obviously neither Armenia, nor Iran is to blame for it, but its harsh consequences are felt in Armenia as well. Our task is to mitigate the consequences of the crisis to the greatest possible extent so that our people and our state are able to overcome it with minimal losses. We have undertaken steps and developed measures which should allow us to prevail over the situation without serious distress.

Dear Compatriots,

In conclusion, I would like to say once again that
For the Armenians of Iran, Iran is the home, and Armenia is the hearth;
The Armenians of Iran should drink from two springs and be inspired by two great cultures, and to take pride in two Motherlands.
They are blessed with two great flags and guarded by two anthems,
Their children should become pillars of the Iranian statehood and envoys of the Armenian land.

I am very grateful for this warm reception and this honor. I am truly happy to be here, in the Ararat center. Taking this opportunity, I would like to present to this center this paper-cross, which was created by Ararat Sarkissian and is a replica of a cross stone from the Jugha cemetery ravaged by the Azeris. I thank the Armenian-Iranian community. I am really inspired by the meetings such as this. There are Armenians, Armenian communities all over the world, but there are communities which differ from all.

Long live the Armenian Iranian community!
Long live the Armenian nation!

← Back to list