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Cultural diplomacy, means of restoring FranceIran ties

Tehran, Former French diplomat said he believes that cultural diplomacy is the means of restoring Iranian times with France on mutual respect.

JeanClaude Voisin who is currently running the Francebased ParisTehran quarterly believes that the existing status of diplomatic relations between Iran and France, affected by a deep distrust, is a difficult one to repair, but the only means that can be used to restore the mutual respect, not only between Iran and France, but also between any pair of two countries suffering from diplomatic tension.

In an interview with IRNA, he emphasized that creating a strong cultural diplomacy between Iran and France seems to be a farfetched goal, but still possible.

Voisin, the French historian and archeologist emphasized the role of academic, scientific and research centers as the first step to encourage rapprochement between Iran and France.

Holding music and cinema festivals, joint exhibitions and cooperation between cultural bodies of the two countries can be employed as a basis to build upon to bring two countries closer and give them the time required for the two nations to have a better understanding of each other, he says.

He believes that the Western civilization owes Iran a lot, both technologically and scientifically, even if the French government ignores it.

Viosin says that Iran is considered in France as one of the biggest civilizations in the world, and its impression in the mind of people is an educated nation that is proud of its history and scientists.

Iran and France have recently introduced their ambassadors to Paris and Tehran after a long pause.

The tender diplomatic ties were affected by a tweet posted by the French Ambassador to Washington on the nuclear deal. It was responded by the Iranian side by summoning the new French ambassador Philippe Thiebaud.

However, a few days later when the historical Notre Dame Church in Paris caught fire, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took the opportunity to send a sympathy tweet with the French people.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA

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