Radical Iranian Group Opposes Renaming of Tehran Street
A hardline Iranian group vowed on Saturday to resist a reformist bid to rename a street in Tehran which has soured relations with Egypt, said a report by Reuters posted on CNN Online.
Tehran's reformist-dominated city council voted last month to open an urgent debate on changing the name of a street, which currently honors the assassin of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.
But the Hizbollah Cultural Front, one of several shadowy Muslim extremist groups in Iran, said in a statement that it would reject any attempts to rename the street, according to the agency.
"We reserve the right to counter any move toward re-naming martyr Khaled Islambouli (Street),” said the statement.
Meanwhile, a member of the Tehran City Council termed the original naming of the street as "an indiscreet and a hasty move,” the Persian daily Abrar said on Thursday.
Mahmoud Alizadeh-Tabatabai said that Khaled Islambouli had insulted the founder of the Islamic Revolution, the late Imam Khomeini, in his will, the paper said.
Tabatabai repeated the recent announcement of the council, saying it was waiting for the green light from Iran's Foreign Ministry to rename the street.
In an unexpected move, the council voted to open an urgent debate on the issue, which has hampered efforts to improve Iran-Egypt ties, cut 22 years ago.
Members of the council were said to have agreed to a proposal to change the name of the street from Khaled Eslambouli to either 'Intifada Martyrs' or 'Mohammad Ad Durra,' after a young Palestinian who was shot dead by the Israeli troops while huddling beside his father for shelter from bullets.
Egyptian officials were also said to have welcomed the decision, saying the move was "a positive step."
The London-based Arab daily Al Sharq Al Awsat quoted a high-ranking Egyptian official in Cairo as saying that the step contributed to developing Egyptian-Iranian ties.
Tehran-Cairo ties have significantly warmed since June of last year when President Mohammad Khatami spoke over phone with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak, the first such conversation since the two states broke off relations in 1979 after Egypt signed the Camp David peace treaty with Israel.
Relations have since improved, and the two countries now run interest sections through the Swiss embassies in Cairo and Tehran, operated by Iranian and Egyptian diplomats – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)