0829 GMT July 17, 2019
Hungarian Ambassador to Iran Janos Kovacs said he is absolutely positively sure that the benefits of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, are coming, adding a delegation of the largest Hungarian commercial bank will visit Iran in near future.
He made the remark, addressing a ceremony held in Tehran on Monday on the occasion of the National Day of Hungary commemorating the 61st anniversary of the country’s 1956 Revolution.
The function was also attended by Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-e Ravanchi and a number of foreign ambassadors to Iran.
Hungarian Ambassador to Iran Janos Kovacs (R), Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-e Ravanchi (M) and Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Director General for North and East Europe Affairs Mahmoud Barimani pose for a photo in a ceremony in Tehran on October 23, 2017, on the occasion of the National Day of Hungary commemorating the 61st anniversary of the country’s 1956 Revolution.
He added “We are all aware that the Iranian nation is pretty much impatient to see the benefits of the deal.”
Kovacs reaffirmed the commitment of his country as well that of Europe to and support for the JCPOA and its implementation, adding, “Sometimes it faces challenges. But at this point, let me – as a European – refer to a statement, unanimously issued by the European Union last week. And I quote it again: ‘The EU is committed to the continued full and effective implementation of all parts of the JCPOA. The EU underlines that the lifting of nuclear related sanctions has a positive impact on trade and economic relations with Iran including benefits for the Iranian people.’”
Commenting on the JCPOA, also known as the nuclear agreement, he said there were, and still are, high expectations as far as the outcomes of the deal are concerned.
He listed a few examples of the developments in bilateral relations between Iran and Hungary in 2017, following and as a result of the signing and going into effect of the JCPOA, as the increased number of visits by senior Hungarian officials as well as delegations to Iran, the signing and implementation of several agreements and MoUs between the two countries as well as efforts by the two sides’ to improve cooperation in banking, trade, energy, agriculture, culture, science, education and tourism sectors.
On the increased number of visits from Hungary to Iran, he said, “As a follow up of the former visits of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Speaker of the National Assembly László Kövér, we welcomed in Iran Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén and the deputy speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary, János Latorcai, followed by several other high-ranking political and business delegations of our county. We have signed new agreements and MoUs.”
Commenting on the agreement and MoUs signed by the two sides, he said the agreements on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and on Economic Cooperation have entered into force.
“I recently had the pleasure to initialize the bilateral Agreement on Investment Protection to be signed soon.”
Elaborating on the two sides’ efforts to foster collaborations in different sectors, he said, “We are expecting the delegation of OTP Bank, the largest Hungarian commercial bank, to visit Iran. In addition, an MoU between the two countries’ Central Banks is on the table to be inked and foster banking ties.
“The Iranian imports of hundreds of IKARUS buses is on the agenda, to be followed by partial local production.
“In the field of energy we can renew our collaboration by providing the new generation of dry system cooling towers for Iranian power stations in need.
“Agriculture sector provides us with a wide range of cooperation opportunities in the areas Hungary has traditionally been strong at (seeds, animal feed supplements, livestock and meat export, etc.).
“We strengthen our cultural scientific and educational ties and as a result, in the current academic year, there will be approximately 2,000 Iranian students studying at Hungarian universities.
“We also try to meet the increasing interest of Iranian tourists in Hungary and to make it come true the Consular Section of our Embassy has considerably been broadened while launching direct flights between Tehran and Budapest is in the process of negotiation too.”
Promising Iranians to soon witness the positive outcomes of the JCPOA, Kovacs said these are just a few examples of the deal’s favorable results related to only one European country, Hungary.
On his country’s National Days, he said, “In fact, Hungary has three National Days: August 20 is the date of the foundation of the Hungarian statehood in the year 1,000. On March 15, we commemorate the outbreak of the Hungarian freedom fight of 1848, also known as the Hungarian Revolution. The most recent one in time, is marked in October 23, when we pay tribute to all our heroes who, on the same date in 1956, spontaneously raised their voice and grabbed weapons to fight against a tyrannical political system, the Communist system and its regime, forced on us from outside and thus alien to our nation.
“A question may arise of why we deem these 3 events so important that we honor them annually as national days. My answer is that it is the message and the spirit they carry. August 20, the foundation of the Hungarian statehood I believe speaks for itself. As for the other two, both revolutionary, though curbed and retaliated brutally, none of them was in vain. They carried such a strong message that the impact turned out to be enormous both internally and internationally.”
Some two decades after the revolution of March 1848, he said, Hungary gained respect as an equal partner within the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy of the time opening the way for intensive development, creating one of the brightest periods in the History of the country.
“The revolution and freedom fight of October 1956 caused the first cracks on the walls of the entire communist system, and that damage proved to be unrepairable. We had to wait until 1990 for the ultimate collapse of Communism but the fruits of the October 1956 revolution had already been seen and enjoyed by generations.”
So, Kovacs stressed, this is the spirit and message of our ancestors which has proved to be much more effective than the sophisticated weapons and the power which temporarily broke them, adding, “This is the spirit that we honor every year and what we would pay tribute to eternally.”