Iran’s Khatami Attends Pan Armenian Games Opening Ceremony

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)– The opening ceremonies of the 31st Pan-Armenian Games took place in Tehran’s "Ararat" stadium Wednesday.

Present at the opening ceremonies was President Khatami of Iran. Participating in the Games are 1300 athletes from various Armenian athletic organizations in Iran along with four teams from Armenia. The Games will last for ten days and offer a wide range of athletic events.

According to the "Iranian Voice" radio-station–during the ceremonies–President Khatami addressing the important role of the Armenian community throughout Iran’s history–stated that the Armenian community in Iran’succeeded to preserve its independence and identity through centuries of hardship and difficulty. "Important Christian and Armenian personalities–played key roles alongside Muslims–and contributed greatly to the protection of Iranian and Islamic politics," stressed Khatami.

Present at the opening ceremonies were Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian–Parliamentary representatives from the Iranian-Armenian community–and the Armenian Prelate to Iran Archbishop Ardag Manoogian along with other representatives from the Prelacy. Manoogian praised President Khatami in his leadership.

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