By: Mir M.Hosseini
Even before diplomatic ties, unofficial relations had already taken root between the two nations: Germany and Iran. Goethe's dedication of his West-östlicher Diwan (West-Eastern Divan) to Hafez in 1819 is an illustration of how far back such cultural ties went. German intellectual interest in Iranian culture, language, and poetry had led to a German-Iranian Friendship Treaty of friendship and commerce (shipping) between Prussia and Persia that was renewed between June, 6 and June, 11, 1873 between German Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck and Mirza Hossein Khan.
The German-Iranian relationship was cautious, because Bismarck understood that the area was under the domination of Russia and Britain. He agreed to open a German legation in Tehran in 1884.
Germany, which had largely remained out of The Great Game gradually established itself as such a candidate by the second half of the 19th century. During the establishment of Iran's first comparatively modern university, Amir Kabir for example, preferred the hiring of Austrian and German teachers as faculty for Darolfonoon. Even King Naseroddin Shah himself supported the idea of using Germans to serve at Darolfonoon School inaugurated in 1851, despite political pressures to the contrary.
In this regard, it is even written that the Chancellor always showed interest in discussing the structural system of Germany's government and society as a model for modernizing his country.