Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Iran Polishes Image in Tajikistan

A new college of jewellery in Tajikistan is being funded by Iran, as part of that country’s longstanding efforts to build relationships with the Central Asian states.
By IWPR Central Asia
As Mehrangiz Tursunzoda reports, the school will offer three-month courses in cutting semiprecious stones to be made into jewellery. The idea behind it is to create new job opportunities for young men and women from low-income backgrounds, and selection will be on that basis.

The school is being funded by the Imam Khomeini Foundation, which has been in Tajikistan for 14 years and has set up ten other schools.

The Iranians say they are keen to assist Tajikistan, a country with which they have deep cultural and linguistic ties.

Analysts see educational programmes of this type as part of Iran’s attempt to build its reputation in the Muslim states of Central Asia to provide a counterbalance both to western influence in this region and to the generally unfavourable international attitude towards Tehran.