The history of political relations between Iran and Holland goes back to the beginning of the 17th century. After the Iranian government succeeded in ousting the Portuguese from Hormoz Island and Bandar Abbas turned to be the center of trade in the Persian Gulf, the Dutch government found its way there, in disguise of East India Company, and established a trade center dealing in silk with the permission of Shah Abbas the Great (1587-1628) in the year 1623.
In 1626 Mousa Baik was sent to The Hague as the first Iranian ambassador. In a letter to then rulers of the Netherlands, Shah Abbas assured the Dutch traders of full security and comfort. The first Holland ambassador in Iran was Ian Smith (1628-1630) who resided in Iran for two years.
The East India Company, commercial in character did not display much interest in political matters at the outset. Nevertheless acted like a government when its interests were jeopardized. The Company came even into open arms conflict with the Iranians for several times. On the other hand, the official relations between Iran and Holland were limited. Between the years 1625 to 1631, Shah Abbas sent a couple of envoys to The Hague so as to obtain the support and backing of that government against the Ottomans. But these endeavors did not prove fruitful and the government of Holland sent back its negative response to the Shah’s Court through the General Governor of the East India from Jakarta.
The commercial activities of Holland businessmen in Iran were in full swing and prosperous throughout the Saffavid rule. After the Afghan invasion put an end to the Saffavid dynasty in 1722, the representative office of the East India Company of Holland in Bandar Abbas could no longer function. Since then all the trading activities of this company in the Persian Gulf came to an end which continued till the end of the 18th century.
A commerce and friendship treaty was signed between the two countries in Paris in the year 1857. The first Holland consulate was opened in the city of Bushehr in 1867. The Holland government then appointed the Consul General in Tehran and finally in the year 1902 full diplomatic relations between the two countries came into effect. First, the Embassy of Iran was opened up in The Hague and later in 1910 the Netherlands opened its Embassy in Tehran.
The period preceding the Islamic revolution, between the years 1950 and 1979, the diplomatic relations were just on the level of ambassador and the relations prevailing between the two countries was quite considerable due to commonalities of two political systems. The then reigning queen of the Netherlands traveled to Tehran in 1963 and the Shah of Iran visited that country.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the relations between the two countries experienced ups and downs.
After 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Dutch government demonstrated its keen interest to preserve its friendly relations with Iran by sending an ambassador to Iran in 1981. The Islamic Republic of Iran also showed its willingness to expand ties with that country in 1983. As a result of first official visit of Dutch authorities to Iran, deputy minister of Agriculture and Fishery of the country visited Iran in 1984 which was reciprocated by a visit of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s deputy Agriculture minister. The diplomatic relations between the two countries has continued on ambassadorial level so far.