Ambassador / Embassy
History

Relations between Iran and Finland as a part of Scandinavian countries, date back to the 17th century. Finland, an industrial power in the Scandinavian geography, gained its independence in 1917. Iran recognized Finnish Republic in 1918, and in 1934 the Finnish Government appointed the Ambassador of Angora Aarno Yrjö-Koskinen, as an accredited to Tehran. In 1970, Shah Mohammad Riza became the first Iranian president to visit Finland. In 1974, the Consulate General of Finland in Tehran was improved to the embassy level and Kurt Uggeldahl was appointed as the first permanent ambassador. Relations interrupted with the Islamic Revolution were reestablished in 1984 when Iran activated the embassy in Helsinki 

Throughout its long history, Iran has been known as a gateway between the East and West. In the 16th and 17th centuries, merchants from Europe travelled to the cities of Esfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz and Semnan to trade with their counterparts from the Far East. It is fair to say that Iran was a center of global trade centuries even before anyone spoke about globalization. In those days, the Silk Road was the route that connected people from different continents.

Today, we are witnessing the rebirth of the Silk Road – although without camels or caravans. Today´s Silk Road is digital and runs along rails and highways. Iran is again becoming an important trade hub – and not just between the East and West, but, as we see today, between the North and South as well.

Finland is also one of the first countries in the field of technology, as it is one of the world's leading countries in the forest industry. With the mitigation of sanctions, the trade volume between Iran and Finland grew by 96% in 2014 and by 106% in 2015. Finnish companies, which have reduced their relations with Iran or brought it to an end with sanctions, have started to take place in the Iranian market again with the sanctions being eased. Finland has also enjoyed Iran's return to the global market.

Finland's President Sauli Niinistö’s Visit To Iran Finnish-Iranian relations have generally improved at the level of diplomatic and economic relations, but bilateral relations have weakened due to various sanctions imposed on Iran. President Sauli Niinisto visited Iran on 25-26 October 2016 to develop relations and sign new agreements upon the invitation of President Hasan Ruhani. Ruhani said "This visit will move the regional and global business partnership between the two countries further, and we will witness the further development of the relations of the two countries after the signing of agreements. Energy, transport, industry, technology, environment, mining and forestry are important topics for developing relations between the two countries." Niinisto also noted significant steps in tourism, "In the future, travel from Finland to Iran and Iran to Finland will be easier." Within the scope of the visit, agreements were signed on business cooperation on energy, communication, technology, environment and mutual investments. Iran and Finland have also signed a business cooperation protocol in the field of renewable energy development and technology transfer. These signed agreements and visits at the presidential level contributed to the sustainability of Iran-Finland relations. President Ruhani stated that the friendship between the two countries continues and that trade relations between Iran and Finland have increased in the last few months, despite the fact that trade relations are suspended due to the embargo, and that bilateral relations will further increase after this visit made by the Finnish President to Tehran. He also emphasized that the visit of the President of Finland is important in this respect, referring to the international banking transactions leading up to the troubles experienced by Iran. Hasan Ruhani stated that he had done various actions in order to make direct flights between Iran and Finland in the future. He also considered the visit of the President of Finland as a good start for the development of relations.The Iranian Revolutionary Guide Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that he welcomes the development of a business tie-up with Finland by pointing out the negotiations on the development of relations for the reception of Finnish President Niinisto and his accompanying delegation. Ayatollah khameni stated that the agreements signed between the two states should be implemented or otherwise leave a negative mark on Iranian public opinion (Pars Today, 2016). Iran wants agreements to be passed on to life as soon as possible without waiting for the sanctions to be completely lifted, in order to keep the institutional order and to keep the damages sanctions given to the country at minimum level.

Iranian President Hassan Ruhani, who received the trust letter of Keijo Norvanto, the Ambassador of Tehran, the Republic of Finland: "Today we can say that there is a good environment for investing in Iran. Thus Finnish investors can actively operate in these areas. The two countries should also develop business co-operation in natural, historical and cultural tourism areas" (Mehr News Agency, 2017). Iran wants to have long term and strategic relations with Finland as well as with other Scandinavian countries. The countries are planning to make the business relations with Iran permanent because of the significant developments in the fields such as banking, energy, mining, transportation and forestry industry.

In 2017, Iran's exports to Finland hit 2.438.019 Euros and Finland’s to Iran 115.195.518 Euros.

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