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  • To serve Poland – to build Europe – to understand the world

     

  • HISTORY OF POLISH-IRANIAN RELATIONS

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    Political and cultural relations between Poland and Persia begun centuries ago. In 1474 Amborgio Contarini, the envoy of Venetia, delivered to the Polish king Casimir Jagiellonian  a letter Shah Uzun Hassan. The first documented visit of a Polish envoy, namely Sefer Muratowicz, took place in 1602. Among other duties he was tasked to buy carpet for the Polish court.

     

    The diplomatic political agenda included coordination of actions in opposition to the Ottoman Empire as well as the protection of Christians in Persia by Persian shahs and Polish kings. A Polish priest Tadeusz J. Krusiński, was requested by Persian authorities to assist in the creation of the first Iranian diplomatic archives.

     

    In our joint history we can find several unique moments that show our mutual respect and friendship. Persia and Turkey were the only two countries that never recognized the partition of Poland in 1795. There were couples of individuals that after the accomplishment of their duties for the Foreign Service stayed on to live and work in Persia. To mention but a few, there was Aleksander Chodźko, romantic poet and Russian consul to Rasht; Ignacy Pietraszewski – the renowned interpreter of Avesta and Karol Bohdanowicz, who pioneered the geological survey of the Khorasan Mountains.

     

    A Poland reborn, having its independence restored, was determined to renew its contacts with Iran. In 1927 a Treaty of Friendship was concluded and the legations of Persia in Warsaw and Poland in tehran were established. The period between the First World War and the Second World War was a time of revival of bilateral relations. Polish businessman and companies showed a deep interest in cooperating with their Iranian counterparts, especially in the oil, glassware, leather, food processing and furniture industries.

     

    This natural process of mutual interaction was dramatically enhanced with the appearance of some 116,000 refugees from the Soviet Union in 1942, who found safe-haven on Iranian soil during the Second World War. Without the exaggeration this was the largest European migration trough Iran. Eighty-five thousand Polish soldiers quickly left Iran for Iraq and Palestine, eventually going on to Italy. But Polish civilians stayed longer in Iran, some for a whole lifetime. Polish people were welcomed and treated with friendliness by Iranians. We are grateful for this assistance, extended by Iranians and we remain mindful of this moment in our memory.

     

    Based on: Witold Śmidowski, foreword to a publication  “Poland Persia”

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