The practical realisation of the diverse capacities for the development of Iran-Russia cooperation depends on the role of the academic community of the two countries/ We follow a school that considers knowledge as the source of power

"We are now at a turning point in the history of relations between the two countries," said the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran addressing the academics of the Moscow National University.

Thu 20 - January 2022 - 20:14

The full text of Ayatollah Dr Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi speech at a meeting with members of the academic council, professors and a group of students of the Moscow National University is as follows;

In the name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,

His Excellency Mr Sadovnichiy,

Dear President of Moscow State University,

Dear members of the Board,

Respectful professors and researchers,

I am very pleased to be among you intellectuals, researchers and professors of Moscow State University, and I thank the government and people of the Russian Federation for the warm hospitality of me and the Iranian delegation in the beautiful city of Moscow.

This university, the oldest and most prestigious university in Russia, is one of the top famous universities in the world and has been the source of many scientific works and services for Russia and the international community and those interested in education and research.

Education, research, and scientific advancement are not only fundamental to us, but also a matter of religious belief and obligation. The divine religions have had many emphases and recommendations in order to fight against ignorance and promote education. The Prophet of God, Muhammad (PBUH), said: The angels spread their wings for the seeker of knowledge and ask forgiveness for them.

Another concept in Islamic literature is the concept of beneficial science; This means that the benefit of that science is felt among the people, which requires a connection between science and morality and spirituality. A science that guarantees the salvation of mankind. A science that lacks this feature will destroy itself, will turn into a bomb and drop on the people, or cause the occupation of the land of Palestine for 70 years and displace its people.

Ladies and gentlemen,

During this trip, in addition to meeting with Mr Putin, I also had the opportunity to meet with a group of representatives of the Russian society in the economic, scientific, cultural and religious fields. I can say with confidence that the various capacities for the development of relations and cooperation depend on the role of the elites, especially the academic and scientific community of the two countries.

Stabilising and benefiting the relations between the two governments of Iran and Russia requires collective will, and governments can succeed in building a strong network of cooperation and securing bilateral or multilateral interests with the help of public exchanges, especially the academic community.

The Russian academic community, despite having prestigious scientific centres with a wide range of disciplines and benefiting from technological infrastructure, can play a very important role in the development of scientific diplomacy and the development of interactions on the topics of innovation and commercialisation of science.

Dear Scholars! The Islamic Republic of Iran in recent years, despite being under oppressive sanctions, has achieved great success in the field of research and commercialisation of knowledge, in various fields including nano, electricity and electronics, stem cells, lasers, medicine and medical equipment, information technology, agriculture and construction.

Whenever Iran fought for its independence and freedom, it found the United States against it. Our academic community has experienced significant growth after the Islamic Revolution and liberation from American domination, and despite the scientific embargo, it has recorded the highest growth rate of scientific and specialised articles in its name. The Islamic Republic of Iran, based on cultural values based on Islamic law and ancient Persian civilisation, has given credibility to science and the institution of education and research, and today is one of the most successful countries in the world in increasing literacy rates and the number of young people educated at various universities.

Dear scientists and professors,

Today, humanity faces common issues and challenges. While the West acknowledges that the world is moving towards "non-Westernisation"; The United States targets beliefs, national cultures, and ground-breaking traditions rooted in the identity and civilisation of independent nations.

The elites of Iran and Russia must provide a model of "interactive and constructive identity" in order to protect both nations from this destructive and reactionary de-identification and to prevent the extinction of foreign culture.

Experience has shown that threats can be turned into opportunities. Cruel sanctions have not only not hindered our scientific growth, but have also led to the development of specialised journals and increased acceleration in the commercialisation of technologies in Iran. The number of knowledge-based companies, all of which are rooted in Iranian universities, has reached several thousand, which, while raising standards, has seen a significant growth in the commercialisation of science. The share of knowledge-based companies in Iran's non-oil exports has increased, and in the field of medicine and vaccine production and many other fields, we have achieved an ecosystem and a domestic production cycle.

Achievements of this kind, make us determined to develop our relations in scientific and specialised fields by investing in innovation and commercialisation, considering the growing need of the country. Cooperation in the fields of science and technology is a principle for us.

The motivated Iranian young people and professors, as the most important asset of the Islamic Republic of Iran, are ready to cooperate and participate in joint technology and commercialisation projects.

Honourable audience,

Dear thinkers,

Ladies and gentlemen,

The fight against the policies of unilateralism, international discrimination, organised crime, drug trafficking, destabilisation of countries and the return of extremism and terrorism will not be possible without the cooperation and coordination of the countries of the region.

There are good relations between the two countries of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation, and both countries are moving towards progress and excellence. Political and security relations and the successful experience of cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Syria and coordination to help establish peace and the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, are a good way to develop relations between the two neighbours in other areas.

Good agreements have been reached for the investment and implementation of joint economic projects. The two sides are interested in cooperating in the field of transport and transit by road, rail, sea and air, as well as in the field of energy, including oil, gas, electricity, trade and agriculture. We seek to improve the level of economic cooperation; But we also pay attention to the fact that the basis of all efforts is scientific and research cooperation.

In the face of the discourse that seeks to securitise and militarise relations between nations, we follow a school that sees knowledge as the source of power.

Imam Ali (AS) says: "Knowledge is kingship and power. Whoever achieved it won, and whoever did not achieve it was defeated".

We believe that facilitating the travel of citizens of the two countries, especially intellectuals and academics, and getting more acquainted and informing the elites about the existing capacities in the relations between them, can play a significant role in advancing agreements and developing relations.

Here, I invite you dear university professors and researchers to travel to Iran. The existence of a common historical and civilisational richness is a good platform for the development of scientific and cultural cooperation. Although there is a relative mutual knowledge of the literary celebrities of the two countries and many works have been translated and published, but the atmosphere of cultural cooperation requires that more action be taken in this area.

The teaching of Persian language, which is more than two hundred years old, and also the existence of Iranian-related study centres in Russia and reciprocally the existence of thousands of Iranians graduated from Russian universities, the activities of numerous Russian language teaching centres and Russian studies in Iranian universities and training centres are valuable capacities that should be properly taken advantage of.

Finally, I would like to emphasise that we are now at a turning point in the history of relations between the two countries. University professors, thinkers and study and research centres of the two countries are expected to play their important and historical role in this field, so that the neighbouring nations of Iran and Russia, with the most interaction and cooperation in various scientific, cultural and economic fields, can live in well-being and dignity.

I wish peace, prosperity and well-being to the government and people of Russia and success to all of you!

Thank you all for your attention.

At the end of the ceremony, Ayatollah Dr Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi was awarded an honorary doctorate by the National University of Moscow.

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- Foreign Trips