Iran Reopens Consulate in Herat
Iran reopened its consulate in the western Afghan city of Herat on Monday, following last week's ouster of the hard-line Taliban militia from the city, state radio reported.
"The consulate in Herat has taken up its activities in Herat again," Mohammad Alavizadeh, head of the consulate, told the radio.
"The consulate was closed since May 4 because of attacks by the Taliban," he said, adding however it would take two months before the mission could start to issue entry visas for Afghans.
Iran recalled its diplomats and closed the consulate in Herat after protesters attacked the mission following a bomb blast outside a mosque.
The Taliban blamed Iranian Shiite Muslim hard-liners for the explosion in which an exiled Iranian Sunni Muslim scholar, Moussa Karimpour, and nine others were killed.
Iran denied involvement in the blast and demanded the arrest of those responsible for the attack on its consulate.
Tehran has never recognized the Taliban and the Herat consulate was its only official link with the Sunni Islamic fundamentalist militia, which seized power in Kabul in 1996.
On Saturday, the government-run Iran Daily said Tehran would soon reopen its embassy in the Afghan capital.
Iranian foreign ministry officials have reportedly been making their way by road into Afghanistan to also prepare for the reopening of Iran's consulate in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
Tehran recognizes the government of ousted president Burhanuddin Rabbani -- (AFP)
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