When a delegation of 13 presidents from the leading Iranian universities with their deputies and directors of international affairs departments came to Moscow in November 2015, few people believed the trip would open a new chapter of scientific diplomacy in long-standing bilateral ties. The first meeting of the presidents of Iranian and Russian universities, held at the initiative of Moscow State University and the University of Tehran under the skillful and open-hearted guidance of their presidents Prof. Viktor Sadovnichyi and Prof. Mahmoud Nili Ahmadabadi, respectively, produced a signed memorandum whereby all the participating universities agreed to continue the dialogue and create conditions for expanding cooperation. Also, two secretariats in Tehran and Moscow assumed responsibility for monitoring issues related to the promotion of a major bilateral partnership in science of these two countries.
The most striking impression at the four joint sessions of the presidents of Iranian and Russian universities of these two countries was the higher level of scientific cooperation in various areas. The number of programs for exchanging university teachers and students was unprecedented in the modern history of bilateral relations. The universities of the two countries are also drafting joint educational programs for the first time. Now, Iranian and Russian representatives have attended scientific conferences, educational seminars, international forums and summer schools. After years of stagnation, programs to teach Russian in Iranian universities and Farsi in Russian universities are slowly acquiring new life.
Having taken part in expanding cooperation programs between Iranian and Russian universities from the beginning, I can say that a deep scientific friendship between the university circles in both countries has taken shape in many areas. This has created favorable conditions for drafting joint research projects.
Since many Iranian and Russian philologists are considered elite at the international level, the holding of joint in-depth philological programs between Moscow State Linguistic University and Allameh Tabatabai University was a new initiative that allowed Iranian and Russian students to study in each of these two educational and intellectual schools. These two universities were the first to organize cooperative programs on Eurasia studies at the master’s level.