In a recent TV interview, Iranian Ambassador to Ukraine Mohammad Beheshti Monfared extolled the virtues of Iran and said that it was a very stable country, in contrast to its neighboring countries, which were suffering "from the plots of terrorists and criminals, who strive to destabilize the region." Ambassador Monfared's comments aired on the Ukrainian UA TV channel on July 17.
Ambassador Mohammad Beheshti Monfared: "Our peoples have common origins, as I have been told by many historians. The forefathers of the present-day Ukrainians came to this land from ancient Persia and mixed with the local tribes.
"You can see the resemblance even in the religions practiced in our two countries. The Ukrainians always go to church, just as the Iranians go to the mosque. In addition, our two peoples follow the custom of visiting graves [of holy people], and of sanctifying their remains. Moreover, Muslim and Christian women cover their hair when they enter holy places.
"Ukraine has a wealth of natural features, such as beautiful rivers and wonderful natural scenery. I also find that the beaches in our two countries are very much alike – the Black Sea and Sea of Azov in Ukraine, and the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf in Iran. In Iran there are many mountainous areas, and Ukraine has the Carpathian Mountains. Mountain climbing is very popular in Iran too. Our countries have many opportunities to develop skiing.
"Iran is totally different from the way it is portrayed by some media outlets. Iran is very stable today, and it is the safest country in the Middle East. Unfortunately, our neighboring countries are suffering these days from the plots of terrorists and criminals, who strive to destabilize the region."