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Sun

23

Nov

2008

Iran and S. Korea; friendship beyond football!
Sunday, 23 November 2008 22:56
by Kourosh Ziabari

In our outlandish and bizarre era where the mogul warmongers are bombarding the innocent children and women, corporation media are planning to overthrow the popular and independent governments in developing countries and the excess of financial crisis is harming thousands of people worldwide, the most valuable thing that one can do is to find ways for upraising mutual understandings, friendships, cognations and stable peaces.

Finding shortcuts to escape from the brawls and tumults in the quarrelsome and chaotic world of 21st century is not actually an easy-to-do job, but would be an effective idea to highlight similarities and emphasize amiabilities so as to get rid of hostilities which are surrounding us increasingly.

Iran and South Korea are the notable examples of two close continental allies which are both among the developing countries with flourishing economies and bright prospect of joining to the throng of developed countries.

Giving prominence to such cordial relations that have never been flawed despite of the treacherous strives of inimical forces behind the scenes, could be exemplary and inspiring for the other nations that have already engaged in close relationships with other neighbors or friends; relations which are constructive for the two sides, moreover non-threatening for the other nations.

Historically, Islamic Republic of Iran has been a major ally of Eastern Asian countries. It still is. And it has particularly boosted its economic, scientific and cultural ties with South Korea, as an influential regional power in the past years.


Iran, as a giant Persian Gulf energy producer, counts on Korea as a main destination for its oil and gas exports. The two sides have also shown an eagerness to participate in each other's industrial projects.

The current figure of bilateral transactions between Iran and Korea stands on $9 Billion, which has been anticipated to exceed $10 billion within the next months.

Furthermore, cultural relations between two countries are increasingly being expanded as a source of mutual interest, as the recently held "Glory of Persia" exhibition in Seoul reveals.

Iran has also signed several contracts with Korean TV stations to translate and broadcast the popular Korean TV series "Jewel in the Palace," the most predominant of popular foreign TV series in Iran. Lee Young Ae has said she was honored to have such multitudinous fans in Iran.

However, to many governments today, sports is estimated as the most advantageous and attractive way of expanding the mutual relations, for not only it grows the cultural relations between the nations but also it leads to a considerable augment of bilateral economical deals. Iran and Korea both used this method perspicaciously.

In the term of sports, which is my focus here, the exciting Taekwando competition between Iran and Korea has intensified over the last five years as Iran got used to sweeping the Olympic medals of Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 but never budging Korea from its perch as the cradle of world Taekwando.

The basketball crusade between the two sides has also been interesting as Iran succeeded in snatching the Asia FIBA champion's title and gaining a berth for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing while Koreans failed.

In a ranking of all-time Olympic medal counts, South Korea stands 20th with 215 medals, passing strong countries such as Austria, Poland, Denmark and Belgium.

In the same table, Iran ranks 44th, with 46 Olympic medals, passing powers such as Czech Republic, Ireland, India and Portugal.

Additionally, in the Asian games medal count table from 1951 to 2006, South Korea potently passes Iran with a total medal count of 1,587, taking third place, while Iran reserved the fourth rank with a total medal count of 379.

As football is a common interest of the both nations too, Iran and Korea have held many official and friendly football matches in the past 50 years and recorded an interesting figure. Out of 21 matches, both Iran and Korea have won eight and left five drawn.

South Korea has made 7 World Cup appearances with the fourth place ranking at the 2002 World Cup its best result. In 11 appearances at the AFC Asian Cup, Korea has won two champion titles. It has also made eight Olympic appearances.

Iran is the three times AFC Asian Cup champions with 11 appearances. It has qualified for the FIFA World Cup 3 times and made three appearances in the Olympics.

Iran and Korea are in the same group for the 2010 South African World Cup qualifications round. They will play twice in the next few months with rising chances and abundant hopes for another World Cup appearance.

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sina said:

December 20, 2008
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