Art And Culture

‘Nelson Mandela’ Street in Tehran

‘Nelson Mandela’ Street in Tehran ‘Nelson Mandela’ Street in Tehran

To pay homage to former president of the Republic of South Africa and Nobel Peace laureate, a stretch of Tehran’s Africa Avenue was renamed as ‘Nelson Mandela Boulevard’ in a ceremony attended by officials from the Tehran City Council (TCC) and the South African embassy.

Addressing the ceremony, TCC Vice-president Morteza Talaee called for expanding mutual relations between Iran and South Africa, considering their “cultural, ideological and historical proximity.”

Drawing parallels between the 1979 Islamic Revolution and South Africa’s 1994 anti-apartheid revolution, Talaee said: “Imam Khomeini and Nelson Mandela are two of the greatest leaders the world has seen. They were able to imbue ethical values and love for humanity in their respective nations and that I believe is their greatest achievement.”

South African Ambassador W. M. P. Whitehead thanked the authorities for what he called a “surprising move by the city council of Tehran.”

 Icon of Resistance

Pointing out that this year marks the 20th anniversary of anti-apartheid revolution in South Africa, Whitehead acknowledged the influence of Imam Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution on South Africa’s fight against apartheid.

Gholamreza Ansari, member of the TCC budget and planning committee referred to Mandela as an icon of resistance, perseverance and freedom. “The name is most befitting for a street in Tehran, a city known for its revolutionary and freedom loving residents.”

Mandela spent more than 40 years - 27 of them in prison - as the central figure in the struggle against South Africa’s brutal and restrictive racial regime called apartheid. In 1994, shortly after the fall of apartheid, Mandela was elected President of South Africa in a multiracial, democratic election, making him the country’s first black president. He passed away on December 5, 2013.