Tajikistan: Stepping Away From Iran, To Saudi Arabia
Last week, an Iranian trade and culture center in Tajikistan’s northern Sughd province closed its doors.
By all appearances, the shuttering came at the request of the Tajik authorities. In another oddly timed development, the works of the Ayatollah Khomeini and other famous Iranian clerics have been forbidden.
As RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, Radio Ozodi, reported, the Iranian center in the city of Khujand was particularly appreciated for its library services and fast internet. It also provided support to local writers in getting published and organized study trips to Iran for young people.
No official explanation has been provided for this new souring in relations. During happier times, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the Iranian president, he would visit Tajikistan every year. The current leader, Hassan Rouhani, has only been once, in 2014, and that was for a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.
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