Iran & Yemen: Stronger Ties [Archives:1998/07/Law & Diplomacy]

February 16 1998

The Iranian Ambassador, Mr. Murtadha Raheemi talked to Mr. Mohammed Bin Sallam of Yemen Times, who filed the following interview. Excerpts:
Q: What is the anniversary you have recently celebrated? A: As you know, the Iranian revolution achieved victory 19 years ago. The Muslim people of Iran won their independence and freedom.
Q: What kind of Iranian investment projects are being implemented in Yemen? A: There is the Iranian medical center in Sana’a which was opened four years ago. It has been developed and expanded to include many new departments, and we intend to expand the center’s medical services in the future. We have a new project which is establishing a library in Yemen bearing Imam Khomaini’s name. We have joint investment projects in many fields such as housing and electricity. We encourage mutual visits by businessmen of both countries to facilitate the investment process.
Q: How do you evaluate the cultural ties between Iran and Yemen? A: There are several agreements signed about 4 years ago. The Iranian Guidance Minister visited Yemen and his counterpart visited Iran. A high-level delegation from the Ministry of Higher Education in Iran visited Sana’a last year to test the Yemeni students who wish to study in Iran. There are about 50 Yemeni students in Iran now  studying medicine, engineering, science and arts. Many scholarships have been offered to Yemeni students. There is a department in Sana’a University to teach the Persian language. The Yemeni-Iranian Fraternity Association will be formed in the near future. We sent 1,000 copies of the Holy Qura’an as a gift from Iran to our brothers in Yemen.
Q: What is the Iranian position regarding the current crisis between Iraq and UN? A: The current crisis is not between Iraq and UN but it is between Iraq and USA. In spite of the 8 year war with Iraq, the position of Iran concerning Iraqi problems is positive. We say to the whole world let bygones be bygones and we wish to open a new page in our relations with the Muslim countries. The Iraqi Foreign Minister has recently visited Iran. We favor the peaceful solution to settle the dispute and not military action.
Q: How could you explain the recent approach by the  president of Iran to the USA? A: The president addressed his speech to the American people,  not to the American administration. The purpose of this speech was to make the American people aware of what is going on and to uncover the American Administration’s actions towards others, especially Muslims and Iranians people in particular. More than 89% of the American people are satisfied with Mr. Khatemi’s speech and his initiative.