Africa

Sudanese Envoy Summoned Twice over Closure of Iran’s Cultural Center in Khartoum

Sudanese Envoy Summoned Twice over Closure of Iran's Cultural Center in Khartoum

Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Sudanese Ambassador to Tehran Suleiman Abdel Tawab Al-Zin twice this morning after reports said Tehran’s cultural center in Khartoum has been closed.
Following reports that Sudan has embarked on closing the Iranian cultural centers in the African country, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summon Khartoum’s envoy to Tehran, and also issued a statement in protest.

In the statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham expressed regret that the known enemies of the two nations’ age-old relations have worked out such a plot, and underlined that the activities of the Iranian cultural center in Khartoum have been quite legal.

Afkham rejected the attempts made to spread sectarian and divisive thoughts, and underlined the necessity for the reinvigoration of relations and friendly bonds among Muslim states.

“As the concerned Sudanese sides are informed, the recent unrealistic allegations about the activities and scope of measures by our country’s cultural center in Khartoum, which has no other branch or office in the other states of the country, are in line with the provocations of some suspicious political groups in Sudan and regional extremist currents, and (such actions) have unfortunately taken place in light of the economic and political problems of that country,” Afkham said.

“We are confident that the Sudanese government will not allow the currents and individuals who are not pursing a good will with regard to Iran and Sudan to pave the way for the divergence of the two countries and leave negative impacts on other areas of our bilateral ties,” the Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman added.

She reiterated that the activities of Iran’s cultural center in Khartoum have been within the framework of the two states’ official agreements and within the scope of Sudan’s governing laws.

The Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman further expressed deep concern over the spread of destructive Takfiri thoughts and ideology in Sudan as well as the efforts made by some streams to push Sudan into chaos.

Her remarks came after Al-Jazeera, quoting an AFP report last Tuesday, claimed that Sudan had ordered Iran to close its cultural centers and given their managers 72 hours to leave the country.

“Sudanese authorities summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires in Khartoum and informed him of the decision to close the three cultural centers and to give the diplomats who ran them 72 hours to leave the country,” the AFP quoted an unnamed official as saying last Tuesday.

Reuters sought to relate the report to sectarian issues, saying that the expulsions were linked to Sudan’s concerns that Iranian officials were promoting their Shiite brand of Islam in the largely Sunni country.

In relevant remarks on Sunday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian dismissed reports on closing the Iranian cultural centers in Sudan, and underscored that Tehran and Khartoum will not allow extremists to impair their relations.

“The baseless accusations of certain media and people in Sudan are made with the goal of deviating the public opinion from the Muslim world’s main problem, which is the Zionist regime, under such conditions that the Zionists have very openly and heavily been defeated by the resistance and the Palestinian and Gaza people in the recent war in Gaza,” Amir Abdollahian told FNA.

Stressing that the enemies will not be allowed to sow discord among the Shiites and Sunnis, he said, “Extremists will not be able to impair the good relations between the two countries.”

Amir Abdollahian underlined that official consultations between Iran and Sudan are underway to wrap up issues pertaining to the activities of the two countries’ cultural centers.

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