Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran
The noble nation of Sri Lanka;
I am so delighted to address you on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran.
The 11th February each year is a very special and exceptional day and holds special significance for the Iranian people. Iranian nation celebrates this day as a sign of gratitude and to mark the victory in the national movement for political destiny.
Forty-five years ago on this significant day, the Iranian people, led by Imam Khomeini, successfully ended a 2500-year monarchy, choosing the path of religious democracy by electing the Islamic Republic, to revive their values and determine their own destiny.
Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Iranians have actively participated in numerous elections over 37 times; 14 presidential elections, 12 Islamic Parliament elections, 5 Council of Experts elections, and 6 rounds of City and Village Council elections. Iranians have gone to the ballot boxes to choose their country’s officials and determine their destiny. Through their direct votes, they have expressed their support for the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
On this occasion, I’d like to briefly highlight some of the achievements, significant growth and progress in various fields during this period:
- According to UNESCO statistics, the literacy rate risen from less than 30% to over 90%.
- Life expectancy has increased by 21 years, reaching 76.2 years.
- The number of specialized Iranian physicians has grown from less than 7,000 to 72,000.
- Before the Islamic Revolution, only 700 students were enrolled in medical schools across 7 institutions. However, the current statistics show a significant increase, with 180,000 medical students studying at 47 medical schools.
- Over 97% of the needed medicines are now produced domestically.
- According to World Bank statistics, Iran’s economy has risen from the 26th global ranking in 1979 to the 22nd in 2022.
- Iran’s economic power has increased from $490 billion to $1,800 billion.
- The number of industrial units in the country has risen from 10,000 to 98,000.
- Despite brutal and illegitimate sanctions, Iran’s national economy has grown 3.7-fold, with the private sector’s share growing over 3 times.
- The Islamic Republic of Iran is among the 12 countries with a complete space technology cycle, engaging in activities related to satellites, ground stations, launchers, and the use of satellite networks.
- The presence of Iranian women in various social fields has experienced significant growth in the years following the victory of the Islamic Revolution, which I would like to mention some of them:
- Iranian women constitute 56% of students in all state universities.
- Over 903 female directors and filmmakers, as well as more than 2000 female actors, are actively engaging in the film and cinema industry of Iran.
- Since the revolution, Iranian women have won more than 3300 valuable medals at international and Asian sports events.
- Women constitute over 34% of the faculty members at medical universities.
- After the Islamic Revolution, Iranian female filmmakers have won 114 national and 128 international awards at prestigious festivals.
- The participation of Iranian women in the Parliament has increased by 5.59%.
In the latest presidential elections in 2021, Dr. Ebrahim Raisi was elected as the President of Iran.
As in other countries, the spread of COVID-19 affected Iran’s trade, economy, and businesses. Nevertheless, with the efforts of Iranian scientists and the support of the thirteenth government, the Barekat Vaccine or “COVIran Barekat” was developed domestically, reaching mass production. Over 50% of the Iranian population has been vaccinated with trust in this Iranian-made vaccine. Research indicates that the Iranian-produced vaccine, with minimal side effects, stands among the best, globally.
The United States government, due to its political enmities and colonial tendencies, imposed maximum oppressive pressures on the Iranian people through unilateral sanctions and influence over international organizations. These unprecedented pressures were aimed at changing Iran’s fundamental strategy of rejecting the U.S. dominance. However, the Islamic Republic of Iran, emphasizing its principled policies, thwarted these unilateral and oppressive pressures against our country, successfully resisting the strategies of imposing their unjust demands on the great Iranian nation.
Active diplomacy in resolving and managing regional challenges is one of the key aspect of the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The thirteenth government adopts an approach centered on cooperation with regional governments, emphasizing dialogue, collaboration, and participation to address and overcome shared challenges. Since its formation, this government has warmly embraced all peace-loving countries, including the neighbors, participating in discussions and fostering cooperation to address common opportunities and potential challenges. Iran’s relations with neighbors have flourished within the framework of the neighborhood-centered foreign policy, and the continuous development of comprehensive relations with neighboring and regional countries remains a priority.
One of the significant challenges in recent years in the Southwest Asian region is the presence of interventionist non-regional forces, terrorism, and extremism. Iran has been one of the main victims of these threats in the past forty-five years, incurring significant costs in combating them. The recent terrorist incident in Kerman on January 3, 2024, resulting in the deaths of over 90 people, including 56 women and 15 children, with more than 240 injured, serves as a stark example.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has consistently expressed its full readiness to collaborate with international organizations and regional countries to combat terrorism and extremism.
Despite the cultural and historical ties between the two nations extending throughout history, diplomatic relations officially commenced in1961. Over the course of 63 years, since the establishment of diplomatic ties, both countries have maintained friendly relations that have expanded in various fields.
Mutual respect, cooperative spirit, and forward-looking perspectives shared by both countries for the development and expansion of bilateral, regional, and international cooperation signify a promising future for the governments and peoples of Iran and Sri Lanka to strengthen and enhance their relations. Notably, the Uma Oya multipurpose project built by skilled Iranian experts and engineers, stands out as a symbol of friendship between Iran and Sri Lanka. This project comprises two dams and a power plant, each with a capacity of 60 megawatts, totaling 120 megawatts. The commissioning of these two power plant units will result in the annual generation of 290 gigawatt-hours of electricity, contributing to the national grid of Sri Lanka.
According to the planned schedule, the two power plants will operate during peak consumption times, providing a capacity of 120 megawatts for an average of 4.5 hours per day. Viewing this development as an auspicious sign, I am optimistic that as electricity flows into the homes of the dear people of Sri Lanka, each moment will serve as a blessed reminder that the Iranian people, as eternal friends, stand beside the noble people of Sri Lanka.
Besides, by this project ,the plan to transfer 140 million cubic meters of water from the upstream catchment area of Sri Lanka to the downstream region will be implemented, which will help the development of agriculture on 5,000 hectares of downstream lands, as well as provide drinking water for the residents of the region.
The impressive technological advancements of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the significant development in scientific and industrial activities by Iranian knowledge-based companies have created an opportunity for fostering stronger Iran-Sri Lanka relations, enabling Iranian hardware and software industries to establish a robust presence in Sri Lanka. I declare that my country is fully prepared to enhance relations in the areas of technology and industries between the two countries.
I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the friendly nation of Sri Lanka on the seventy-sixth anniversary of their independence. On behalf of the esteemed government and people of Iran, I convey the warmest greetings to the government and people of Sri Lanka. Wishing that the year 2024 brings peace, prosperity, and friendship to Sri Lanka. May the enduring bond between our two countries persist, and may we witness the growth of bilateral cooperation across various fields in the future.
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