KHARTOUM: Iran on Wednesday denied its cultural centres in Sudan have been closed on the orders of Khartoum, saying Sudanese authorities would not want to damage relations.

“The embassy and the cultural and economic centres of Iran and Sudan are continuing with their normal activities in the two countries,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, quoted by Fars news agency. “Sudanese authorities would not allow damage to our historic bilateral relations,” he said.

On Tuesday, an official in Khartoum, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Sudan has ordered Iran to close its cultural centres and given their managers 72 hours to leave the country.

He said the decision was in response to “increased activity by the cultural centres in spreading Shia Islam,” the majority faith in Iran but not in overwhelmingly Sunni Sudan.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2014

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