A nation with 7,000 years of culture and civilization, Iran was among the pioneers of dialog and peaceful coexistence throughout history and continues to stay true to its glorious past even in the present times. The Iranians established their revolution of 1979 on the basis of their very own religious and national culture. With its truly cultural nature, this revolution initiated multi-lateral cooperation with other nations in order to build a cultural world and to establish cultural relations with the various other national cultures as one of its most sacred ideals. As part of this sacred movement, various organizations and institutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran embarked upon organizing multifarious activities in other countries. A rise and expansion in these activities demanded unified and coherent policies and operations and, thus, the cultural authorities of Iran formed a new organization to cater to the needs of the cultural activities in foreign countries in the year 1995/1374 under the name of the Organization of Culture and Islamic Relations (ICRO).
This organization took birth as a result of the concerted efforts of a group of cultural heads of the Islamic Republic of Iran who proposed the amalgamation of the numerous branches of the various governmental and Public organizations and institutions involved in cultural and propagation activities outside Iran. As mentioned earlier, the purpose behind this move was to centralize the management, policy-making, and the coordination of the cultural and propagation activities abroad as well as facilitating the optimal utilization of the material and the non-material resources at the disposal of these centers. The Supreme Council for the Dissemination of the Message of Islam before which the initial proposal was put forward, deemed the amalgamation necessary, after a detailed survey. Following the positive response from the Supreme Council, the constitution of the proposed organization was drafted and presented before the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution who responded in the following words:
‘Based on my faith in the judgment of the people who have approved of this constitution, I formally agree with the establishment of the proposed organization and the implementation of its constitution.”
Consequently, the Department of International Affairs of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, the Department of International Affairs of the Islamic Propagation Organization, the Secretariat of the World AhI al-B ayt (PBUT) Assembly, the Secretariat of the World Forum for the Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, and the Council for the Dissemination of the Persian Language and Literature were merged and formally commenced their coordinated cultural activities as "The Organization of Culture and Islamic Relations" -
The ICRO is an independent legal entity affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and carries out its activities under the guidance of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, and the supervision of the Supreme Council of the ICRO, in accordance with the foreign policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the rules and regulations framed by its constitution.