On April 7, 2016 Saint-Petersburg State University hosted a lecture presented by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Russian Federation, St. Petersburg State University Professor Mehdi Sanai. The Ambassador delivered the lecture on the political system of Iran and Russian-Iranian relations".
"I am pleased to be with you at the venue of St. Petersburg State University, it is a great honor for me", the Ambassador began his welcome speech. Mr. Sanai asked students about their associations with Iran. Most of them answered that Iran was associated with Persia, whose rich culture since ancient times had contributed a lot to the development of the whole culture of the East. Students also noted that today, Iran continued to play an important role on international arena, not only in the region of Central Asia and the Middle East, but all over the world. Moreover, Iran is a regional power along with Turkey. At the same time the Russian Federation is an important foreign policy partner for Iran.
The lecture was devoted to the political structure of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iranian history extends back about 6000 years. In the twentieth century three revolutions took place - the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911, 1953 coup and the 1979 Islamic revolution. According to Dr. Mehdi Sanai, "in 1979 Iran finally ceased to operate the monarchy and transformed into the Islamic Republic". Now there is a kind of theological system in the country, "but you can not say that it is undemocratic system": Islamic law prevails while the leaders are chosen by the people.
A separate topic covered in the lecture, was rights of Iranian women. "I would like to note that in Iran there are a large number of young girls who have opportunity to receive higher education. Today they make up 60% of all students in higher education institutions of the country while three women became ministers in the current Cabinet of Ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran", the guest of honor said.
Further discussion was devoted to such topics as a probability of separatism in Iran and support of Iranian Studies centers in Russia, legislative bodies of Russia and Iran.
Student Sergey Mazanik asked Dr. Sanai about student exchange programs within the framework of bilateral cooperation between Russia and Iran. "About twelve thousand foreign students study in Iran today, but few students come from Russia. However, St. Petersburg State University and Tehran University signed an agreement of cooperation, and I will strive to expand our cooperation. On the whole, Russian-Iranian relations over the past 25 years developing steadily, but our countries still have great potential for development of cooperation in the field of economy and tourism", Ambassador noted.