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Afghans Rally Against Iranian Interference In Herat

HERAT, Afghanistan -- Activists in Afghanistan's western province of Herat have protested against what they see as the Iranian interference in the region.

The demonstration attracted scores of political activists, clerics, and tribal leaders in the provincial capital on August 23.

Abdul Qadir Kamil, a local politician, told RFE/RL that the Iranian Consulate in Herat had turned into a base for "spying and corruption."

He accused Iranian diplomats in the city of using their visa-granting powers to buy influence in the strategic region.

Herat Governor Fazlullah Wahidi says that he has told the Afghan Foreign Ministry about bribes being paid to Iranian officials for granting visas.

An Iranian Consulate official declined to comment on the allegations.

Herat borders northeastern Iran and is the source of water resources for neighboring regions.