Iran Pilgrim Row with Iraq Sparks Border Rally
More than 500 Iranian pilgrims, blocked from entering Iraq to visit Shiite shrines, staged a protest rally on Tuesday close to the border, state radio reported.
The worshippers, blocked by Iraqi guards who reportedly demanded entrance fees above those agreed under a pilgrimage arrangement between the two nations, demonstrated in front of the town hall in Qasr-e-Shirin, it said.
Tehran accused Baghdad on Monday of reneging on the agreement, which includes a fixed price for the border crossing, that is supposed to be in effect until late September.
Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said Iraq had "unfortunately and without warning" changed the terms of the long-standing arrangement in an "unacceptable" move – TEHRAN (AFP)
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