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Iran's first Confucius Institute opens in Tehran
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The first Confucius Institute in Iran, co-founded by Yunnan University of China and University of Tehran, officially opened in Tehran on Monday.

Chinese Ambassador to Iran Xie Xiaoyan, said at the opening ceremony in the Faculty of Foreign Languages of University of Tehran that the friendship and cooperations between China and Iran have encouraged both peoples to understand each other more.

The Confucius Institute in Iran was established in line with such needs, Xie added.

President of University of Tehran Farhad Rahbar voiced his congratulations on the debut of the Confucius Institute in Iran, saying that he hoped the move would promote exchanges and cooperations between Chinese and Iranian universities.

Visiting President of Yunnan University He Tianchun said at the ceremony that the first Confucius Institute in Iran was a new embodiment of the educational cooperations and exchanges between the two countries.

A total of four Chinese classes, which grouped 57 students, has been set up since the Confucius Institute in Iran was organized in July 2008.

As of the end of 2008, about 249 Confucius Institutes and 56 Confucius classrooms had been established in 78 countries in the world, according to the council of the Beijing-based Confucius Institute Headquarters.

The nonprofit institute, named after ancient China's influential philosopher Confucius, was established by China in 2004 to help non-native speakers learn Chinese.

(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2009)

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