Despite the close cultural connection that Tajikistan has with Iran, Dushanbe seems intent on burning all its diplomatic bridges with Tehran.
In a remarkably hostile gesture, Tajik state television in early August aired a sensationalist, 45-minute documentary produced by the Interior Ministry that accused Iran of orchestrating a slew of assassinations of high-profile public figures on Tajik soil during and after the civil war of the 1990s. In another carefully timed announcement, made around the same time as the release of the documentary, Tajikistan stated that it had paid off all its outstanding debts to Iran, and demonstratively spurned Tehran’s overtures to patch up relations.
The Interior Ministry documentary, which has also been posted on YouTube, is largely based on accounts provided by three men – Abdukodir Abdulloyev, Tagoimurod Ashrapov and Saimuhriddin Kudratov – who claim to have carried out Iran’s instructions during the waning years of the civil war, which formally ended in 1997.
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