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Tajikistan Condemns Iran's Invitation Of Leader Of Banned Islamic Party

Muhiddin Kabiri (left) pictured with other conference delegates in Tehran on December 28.

Tajikistan has summoned Iran's Ambassador to Dushanbe Hojjatollah Faghani to express "regret" over Iran's decision to invite the leader of the banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) to attend an international conference in Tehran.

Tajikistan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on December 29 that it was "greatly concerned" that "the head of the extremist and terrorist former IRPT, Muhiddin Kabiri, who faces charges of attempting to overthrow the government … has been invited to the conference."

Kabiri attended the International Conference of Islamic Unity, where he was seated next to the head of Tajikistan's state-backed Council of Islamic Ulema and other members of the official delegation from Tajikistan.

Earlier, Tajikistan's state committee for religious affair also expressed "deep concern" over Kabiri's invitation to the conference, which opened on December 27.

There were no immediate comments from Iranian officials.

Tajikistan has arrested more than 20 top IRPT officials after the party was suspended late August and subsequently banned by the Supreme Court as an "extremist and terrorist organization."

The court decision came after the government blamed the party for organizing the September 4 attacks on a police station and an arsenal near Dushanbe that killed 26 people.

Kabiri remains in a self-imposed exile outside Tajikistan.