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Friday, June 23, 2006

Iraqi ayatollah demands closure of Iran’s embassy in Baghdad

Iran Focus Baghdad, Jun. 23 – A prominent Iraqi Shiite ayatollah has called for Iran’s embassy in Baghdad to be closed down, a week after his followers torched the Iranian consulate in the southern city of Basra.

The office of Ayatollah Mahmoud al-Hassani issued a statement demanding Iran’s embassy in Baghdad be closed down because of Tehran’s insults against Iraqi clerics and Iran’s “blatant” meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq, the Iraqi television channel az-Zora reported on Thursday.

On June 14, some 500 angry Iraqis attacked Iran's consulate in Basra, setting fire to parts of the compound.

The protest followed a similar one earlier in the week outside the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Karbala.

The participants in both demonstrations were supporters of al-Hassani, an outspoken critic of Iranian meddling in Iraq.

They protested against a program aired on Iran’s state-run satellite channel al-Kowthar against Ayatollah al-Hassani.

Iran has at least seven Arabic-language television stations and more than two dozens journals spreading its propaganda in Iraq.

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