Iran reopens Afghan consulate after protests

DUBAI Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:42am EST

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has reopened its consulate in the Afghan city of Herat, a week after it was reported closed following anti-Iranian protests outside the compound, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

The demonstrators were protesting against the alleged killing of Afghan migrants by Iranian police, an assertion Tehran has denied. Iran's state news agency IRNA reported on December 11 that Iran had shut the consulate.

"Based on the request of Afghan officials and people, Iran's consulate in Herat resumed its activities yesterday (Monday)," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said. "The issue of the damage inflicted (on the consulate) is being pursued."

On Sunday, the Iranian consul general to Herat, Rahim Mohammadi Yekta, said Tehran was demanding the Afghan government compensate it for damage to the compound, the Iranian official English-language Press TV reported.

The Afghan Interior Ministry said in November that Iranian police had killed 13 Afghan migrants who crossed the border from the Herat area, adding to 10 killed in August.

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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