TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offered his congratulations to the Tajik people and government over the anniversary of the central Asian country’s independence from the Soviet Union that collapsed in late 1991.

In a Saturday message to his Tajik counterpart, Emomali Rahmon, President Rouhani felicitated the 26th anniversary of Tajikistan’s independence and hailed bilateral ties between Tehran and Dushanbe as “age-old" and “unbreakable”.

He also expressed the hope that relations between the two countries would further develop in all fields given their historical, cultural and linguistic commonalities.

President Rouhani also wished health and success for Rahmon and prosperity for the Tajik nation and government.

Each year, Tajikistan celebrates the anniversary of its independence on September 9.

Most of Tajikistan’s population belongs to the Persian-speaking Tajik ethnic group, who share language, culture, and history with Iran and Afghanistan.

After independence, Tajikistan suffered from a devastating civil war which lasted from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow.

Iran was the first nation to establish an embassy in Dushanbe. It was also one of the first countries to extend diplomatic recognition of the newly independent Tajikistan in 1991.