Iran in 2015

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A myriad of Iran’s remarkable and impressive achievements in different areas including political, technological, and medical arenas are illustrated and discussed.

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Still on screen: “Hope,Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering 'it will be happier'...” (Alfred, Lord Tennyso)

Narration: The approach of the New Year is a great opportunity for countries to reflect on the parting year. What happened over the past 12 months? What goals were achieved? What progress was made? What should have been done and what could have been done? What about the major setbacks? Is a great future ahead of the nation? For some countries, the shadow of economic crisis was still looming on the horizon; while for others, migrants coming from sea and land were the main concern; and yet for others, having peace at home was the only thing they dreamed about.

With the wisdom of hindsight, the year 2015 was a hectic year for Iran, the throbbing heart of the Middle East. On July 14th, Iran reached a historic agreement with the P5+1 group of nations over its nuclear program. It was a success story for the Iranians to get their rights recognized by major world powers; a win-win resolution.

The agreement was a comprehensive deal on the Iranian nuclear program; Tehran agreed to roll back parts of its nuclear program in exchange for a full sanctions’ relief.

SOUNDBITE [English] Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister: “We wanted to show to the world that Iran is committed to peaceful nuclear activities. The policy of the new government is to engage others with regard to peaceful constructive engagement with other countries which includes our approach towards this issue.”

Narration: Israel reacted angrily at the news, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describing it as a "bad mistake of historic proportions".

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hassan Beheshtipour, Political Analyst: “Israel is making every effort through the media and diplomacy to block any kinds of deal with Iran but Iran has so far. It has shown to the world that it is not after the nuclear bomb.”

Narration: Following the nuclear deal, many countries rushed to Tehran sending diplomatic and economic delegations; teams from Germany, France, Italy and other countries in Europe. The delegations were mainly made up of company executives eager to do business with the energy-rich, but also very secure Islamic Republic of Iran.

SOUNDBITE [English] Hamidreza Asefi, Former Spokesman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Not only in Europe, but also in Asia, there are many ministers, many delegations coming to Iran in order to get engaged in economic, industrial and trade fields with Iran.”

Narration: On August 23, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond flew to Tehran to reopen British embassy in Iran in a sign of the diplomatic thaw between the two nations. It was the first visit by a British foreign secretary to Iran since 2003.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, Middle East Expert: “When British Foreign Secretary Hammond came to Iran, he tried to touch on three issues. First, he tried to say that let bygones be bygones. In other words, he condemned the negative impacts of the UK’s past behaviors in its relations with Iran. Second, he tried to show the readiness of the British government and other Western countries to cooperate with Iran over current issues like terrorism, the Islamic Awakening, regional crises, etc. Third, he expressed his hope that the trip would mend economic and political relations between Iran and the UK.”

Narration: Plans to reopen the embassy had been announced by London in 2014 as relations between London and Tehran began to improve under Rouhani and Iran’s strategic position came under the international spotlight as the crisis sparked by Daesh grew in neighboring Iraq.Since its rise in 2013, Daesh has been wreaking havoc on the region killing thousands and displacing millions in Iraq and Syria.

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Narration: Under such circumstances, Tehran has remained a beacon of hope to its neighboring countries, sheltering innocent lives and helping them fight against terrorist militants.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Chairman of National Security & Foreign Policy Committee: “I think this classification of terrorists into good and bad by the Westerners is the same mistake they made in Afghanistan; there, they had the same point of view and they are making the same mistake this time in Syria.”

Narration: On 7 January 2015, terrorism reared its ugly head this time not in the Middle East but in Europe. A deadly attack at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the French capital city left 11 dead. But it was not the end of the story. On the night of Friday 13 November, the attacks in Paris by gunmen and suicide bombers claimed the lives of 130 people, and left hundreds more wounded.Following each of the two incidents, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, wrote an open letter, addressing the youth of Europe and North America. He called on them not to allow the inhumanity of Daesh blur their perception of Islam.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Reza Shabibi, Expert at Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “What's worth mentioning is that it's an unprecedented move by a religious authority to address the youths of other nations.”

Narration: The strategic position of Iran in the oil-rich region of the Middle East has put it at focal point of military and economic threats by hegemonic powers. Just to be on the safe side, Iran has always tried to beef up its defensive system. In October 2015, The Islamic Republic tested a new missile. The Emad, a new long-range missile, was a major leap in terms of accuracy with advanced guidance and control system in its nose cone.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hossein Dehghan, Iran’s Minister of Defense: “To guide to the end is a new technology that the engineers in the defense industry have managed to develop. It will dramatically increase the strategic preventative capability of the armed forces.”

Narration: Following the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and an agreement reached in Vienna, on November 23rd, the 3rd summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum was held in Tehran, where 9 heads of state of the 18 member countries took part.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Iran’s Minister of Petroleum:“The Tehran Summit also had this message for Iran which was being welcomed to a world without sanctions. Nine heads of states attended here, half more than the number who took part in Russia four years ago.”

Narration:The year 2015 had good news for the Iranian patients diagnosed with cancer. Thanks to the country’s local nuclear medicine know-how, Iranian researchers managed to produce a drug effective in battling the leading cause of death worldwide.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Mohammad Abedzadeh, Osveh Pharmaceutical Company: “The drug Erlotinib was never produced at home and its original brands used to be imported. This drug is coming on the country's pharmaceutical market at one fourth of the price with the same quality. The drug is currently passing its clinical trial.”

Narration: Iran has a lot to say when it comes to stem cell research. Liberal scientific policies and tolerant religious laws have enabled Iranian researchers to delve deeper into biological mysteries, putting the country to the forefront of technological advancement.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Ahmad Vosough, Associate Professor of Radiology at Royan Institude: “Since we were mainly focused on training, research and treatment, we managed to achieve fetal stem cell knowledge.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hamid Gourabi, Board of Directors, Royan Institute: “What we have recently announced is the use of cloning methods animals threatened with extinction.”

Narration: In recent years, the Laser technology has become indispensable in medicine and industry. Its high efficiency, speed, ease and safety have revolutionized industrial production processes and medical treatments including surgical procedures. In this regard, Iran is among the few countries, being capable of producing lasers. The National Laser Centre in Tehran generates lasers for a variety of applications. This year, the center put some of the achievements on display.

With the breakthroughs Iran made in different arenas over the past months, it’s no exaggeration to say the year 2015 was a stepping stone for the nation towards a better, brighter future based on peace, knowledge and humanity.  

   

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