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Political relations between Iran and Denmark

1691 (First Diplomatic Contact)

The first Iranian envoy to Denmark arrived in Copenhagen in 1691 to convey a message from Shah Suleiman I to the King Christian V. His mission, later described as unsuccessful, was to raise the issue of compensation from East India Company for the confiscation of Iranian goods on a Bengali ship.

 

1933 - 1979 (the Monarchy Regime)

Concurrent with the signing of Iran trans-national railway contract with the Danish company of Kampsax in 1933, the first treaty of friendship between the two countries was signed and diplomatic relations officially established. In the same year, Danish Consulate, later upgraded to Embassy level, was opened in Tehran. Up until mid 1970s the Danish Embassy in Tehran was one of the only two Danish missions in the Middle East. In 1959, with the trip by the Iranian monarch to Denmark, the Iranian Embassy was opened in Copenhagen. In 1963, Fredrerick IX the King of Denmark paid a state visit to Iran.

 

In general the pre-Revolution relations between Iran and Denmark were limited to visits by the royal families while political cooperation was less than active. On the other hand, economic relations continued at a reasonable level with Iran benefitting from the services of Danish companies in both food industries and construction of trans-national railways, roads and ports in the north and south of the country.

 

 1979 - 2015 (the Islamic Republic of Iran)

 

Statistical analyses show political relations and economic cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Denmark much influenced by Iran's relations with the European Community/Union and the United States, depending on the internal, regional and international conditions at various points in time.

 

After a period of relative stagnation, the relations moved to the level of bilateral cooperation in 1998. Political relations continued on a reasonable basis, with meetings between high ranking officials from the two countries including the Foreign Ministers.

 

In the 2001 - 2009 period, the Liberal and Conservative government's tendency to further promote relations with the US and Israel overshadowed Denmark's ties with Iran.

 

The 2002 EU Danish presidency temporarily provided a opportunity for  some political consultations and visits to Iran by Danish officials. However, the trend of relatively normal relations was halted  by the cartoon crisis in 2005.

 

Following the 2005 cartoon crisis and tension between Denmark and the Muslim countries, Iran's relations with Denmark also deteriorated. The Danish Embassy in Tehran was damaged after it was attacked by demonstrators. Consequently, Ambassadors of the two countries were recalled and economic activities suspended. In 2006, Iran's Ambassador returned to Denmark and the Danish Embassy in Tehran reopened.

 

After months of tension, the visit by the Permanent Secretary of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Tehran in April 2007 and the Iranian Foreign Minister's visit to Copenhagen in May 2007 entered the relations into a new phase.

 

In February 2009, parliamentary visits, suspended for 7 years, were renewed and a Parliamentary delegation comprising some members of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Danish Parliament including its then chairperson, Gitte Lille Lund Bech, and Mogens Lykketoft, then Speaker of the Danish Parliament from the ruling Social Democrats, visited Iran.

 

Following the 2009 Presidential elections in Iran a wave of negative publicity, conducted by Danish media led to somewhat cooling of relations. Some mounts later, concurrent with the change of both Ambassadors, situation took a turn for the better, and a number of exchange visits took place.

 

An invitation by the Danish Prime Minster to President Ahmadinejad to attend the COP15 Climate conference extended in 2009. That event  offered an opportunity for the president to address the gathering and meet with the Iranian expatriates as well as Islamic scholars and personalities. The Mayor of Tehran also attended the Mayoral meeting of the climate conference.

 

On the economic field, the president of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines came to Copenhagen in January 2010 at the invitation of his Danish counterpart.

 

The thaw in relations continued and in the spring of 2010 Denmark held its regional Ambassadors' seminar in Tehran. The Deputy Foreign Minister while in Tehran to attend this seminar, held separate talks with his Iranian counterpart, as well as deputy Secretary of Iran's National Security Council.

In the same year Denmark's Afghanistan and Pakistan envoy met Iranian officials in Tehran.

 

The visit of the Parliamentary delegation to Copenhagen headed by the Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament was among important bilateral contacts in the year 2010.

 

The positive atmosphere that came about after the 2013 Presidential elections in Iran and the progress made at the nuclear negotiations have created better opportunities for enhancement of relations between the two countries. In December 2013, the political director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs led a delegation to Tehran. In 2014 Iran and Denmark commemorated the 80th anniversary of their relations.

 

On 7 September 2014, the Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard, received by President Rouhani in Mashhad. He also visited the Imam Reza Holy Shrine while in the city. In Tehran he continued to hold talks with Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, Head of the Expediency Council, the Iranian Foreign Minister, the Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament and the Secretary of Iran's National Security Council. This was the first visit to Iran by a Danish Foreign Minister in 10 years.

 

The visits to Denmark by the Head of the Iran's State Inspection Organization, the President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines, in 2014, and by Delegation of the Standing Orders Committee of the Iranian Parliament and the Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs in 2015 as well as the visit to Iran by Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman, mark  expansion of relations in various fields.

On January 4, 2016, Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen arrived in Tehran  on a two-day visit at the head of an economic and political delegation.  Representatives from 58 major Danish companies were among the large Danish delegation. Mr. Jensen held a series of talks with Iranian officials including the President, Head of the Expediency Council, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament (Majlis), as well the Foreign Minister. The talks concentrated on bilateral and international issues of mutual interest and regional conflicts.

At a seminar entitled "Iran-Denmark Economic Forum", and organized by the Iranian Chamber of Commerce on the sidelines of this visit, Iranian and Danish company representatives explored possible areas of bilateral cooperation. 

 Iran and Denmark conducted their second and third rounds of technical dialogue on human rights in Tehran and Copenhagen respectively in September 2015 and February 2016. The negotiations were led by the Head of International Affairs of the High Council for Human Rights of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Director of International Affairs of the Danish Institute for Human Rights. At the end of the 3rd round of dialogue in Copenhagen a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation was signed by the two sides.

  Mr. Ghashghavi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Iranian Affairs, visited Copenhagen 2- 3 May 2016. In addition to two sessions on consular affairs, Mr. Ghashghavi had meetings with the Danish Foreign Minister, Immigration, Integration and Housing Minister, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Immigration and the Parliamentary Ombudsman. 

A delegation of the Foreign Policy Committee headed by Søren Espersen, visited Tehran Isfahan and Kashan ... 30 October - 3 November 2016. The delegation comprising eleven MPs from all parties of the Danish Parliament, met with high ranking officials of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) and the Foreign Minister, and exchanged views on the situation in the region and increasing parliamentary interactions. The visit to Isfahan and Kashan included a visit to an Afghan Refugee camp, a meeting with Representatives of the Armenian Caliphate Council and visits to some Isfahan and Kashan tourist attractions. 

Ms. Lone Dencker Wisborg, State Secretary for Foreign Policy, visited Tehran on .. - // November 2016 and met with a number of Iranian officials. In a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister for European-American Affairs the two sides exchanged views on enhancement of bilateral relations and increased cooperation in political, economic, cultural and Parliamentary affairs. Ms. Wisborg also consulted with the Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs and the international advisor to the Supreme Leader and Special assistant to the speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly on regional and international issues and crises.  

A delegation including Ambassador René Dinesen, Under Secretary for Consular Affairs & Public Diplomacy, and Mr. Henrik Ankerstjerne, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Immigration, Integration and Housing, visited Tehran on 5 December 2016. The visit was within the framework of joint consular consultations and in response to the visit to Copenhagen by H.E. Mr. Ghashghavi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Iranian Affairs in May 2016.

The next round of the joint consular consultations was held in Copenhagen on 3- 4 July 2017. At this session tentative agreements were reached on enhancement of consular relations and immigration issues.

 

 

Timeline: Iran- Denmark Relations

A chronology of key bilateral interactions in recent years is as follows:

-     March 2000, visit to Iran by the Foreign Minister of Denmark;

-     December 2000, visit to Copenhagen by the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister;

-     July 2001, visit to Iran by the Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee of Folketinget (Parliament);

-     July 2001, visit to Copenhagen by Director General of International Political and International Studies (IPIS), round table on Iran-Denmark relations;

-     July 2002, visit to Tehran by Director of bilateral relations of Denmark;

-     September 2002, visit to Tehran by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs - the 9th round of comprehensive EU-Iran negotiations;

-     May 2004, visit to Denmark by the Iranian Foreign Minister;

-     January 2005, visit to Denmark by the Director General of the  Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran in charge of bilateral relations;

-     September 2005, visit to Denmark by the Deputy Director General for International and Political Issues of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

-     Sept. 2005, meeting between the two Foreign Ministers on the sideline of United Nations General Assembly;

-     December 2005, visit to Denmark by the Deputy Foreign Minister for North American and European Affairs;

-     December 2006, visit to Copenhagen by the Chairman of the East Azarbaijan Chamber of Commerce;

-     April 2007, visit to Tehran by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

-     May, 2007, visit to Copenhagen by the Iranian Foreign Minister;

-     Sept. 2008, visit to Copenhagen by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran for European Affairs;

-     Nov. 2008, visit to Copenhagen by Iranian Permanent Representative to the IAEA;

-     Feb. 2009, visit to Iran by the Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Danish Parliament;

-     Dec. 2009, visit to Copenhagen by the Mayor of Tehran, attending the World Mayors Conference;

-     Dec. 2009, visit to Copenhagen by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addressing the UN Climate Conference - COP15;

-     January 2010, visit to Copenhagen by the Chairman of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines;

-     Feb. 2010, visit to Tehran by Denmark's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan;

-     June 2010, visit to Copenhagen by the IPIS Director General participating the SIPRI seminar on Afghanistan;

-     November 2010, visit to Copenhagen by the Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament;

-     February 2011, visit to Copenhagen by an economic and IT delegation at the deputy minister level;

-     December 2013, visit to Tehran by the Danish Deputy Foreign Minister;

-     May 2014, visit to Copenhagen by the IPIS Director General;

-     August 2014, visit to Copenhagen by the Head of Iran's State Inspection Organization; 

-     September 2014, visit to Iran by the Danish Foreign Minister;

-     January 2015, visit to Copenhagen by a delegation of the Standing Orders Committee of the Iranian Parliament;

-     February 2015, visit to Copenhagen by the Iranian Foreign Minister's Deputy for European and American Affairs,.

-     May 2015, visit to Tehran by the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman;

-     January 2016, visit to Tehran by Danish Foreign Minister, Kristian Jensen

      2-3 May 2016 Visit to Copenhagen by an Iranian consular delegation headed by the Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary          and Iranian Affairs,

  • Danish delegation visit to Iran for the 4th round of human rights discussions ...
  • September 2016 Visit to Denmark by H.E. Hamid Chitchian, Energy Minister, .
  • Danish Foreign Policy Committee delegation visit to Iran ....
  • Visit to Iran by Ms. Lone Dencker Wisborg, State Secretary for Foreign Policy, ....
  • Visit to Tehran by Ambassador René Dinesen, Under Secretary for Consular Affairs & Public Diplomacy, and Mr. Henrik Ankerstjerne, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Immigration, Integration and Housing, ...
  • Visit to Iran by the Danish Minister of Taxation, ....
  •  3 - 4 July 2017. Joint consular consultations in Copenhagen,

      - September 2017: Visit by Deputy Finance Minister and a few members of Parliament (Majlis), meetings with Danish official including Minister for Taxation. 

      -  September 2017: Visit by Deputy Head of the Judiciary and the Head of the State Organization for  Registration of Deeds and     Properties to Copenhagen and meetings with management at the Ministry of  Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Head of intellectual Property Rights Organization and Chairman of the  Judicial Committee of the Parliament.

     -  November 2017: Mr. Rahimi and Borromandi, MPs and members of the Foreign Policy and National Security  Committee openhagen and meeting with members of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Danish  Parliament.

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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