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Author Topic:   Tehran plans debate on changing name of street honouring Sadat killer
Vatandoost
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posted May 22, 2001 10:16     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
TEHRAN, May 21 (AFP) - Tehran's city council agreed to urgent debate on changing the name of a street honouring the killer of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat which has strained Iran-Egypt relations, the state IRNA news agency said. It said the council wanted to rename Khaled Eslambouli street either for the "martyrs of the intifada" (the Palestinian uprising) or Mohammad al-Dorra, the Palestinian boy whose killing last year by Israeli troops shocked the world.

The bill changing the name will take priority in the reformist council's pending business, IRNA said.

Its approval in committee would then send the bill forward for a vote by the whole of the council.

Cairo has said that the street name is a barrier to restoring full diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Tehran mayor Morteza Alviri said he welcomed a change of name, IRNA reported, as controversial names could "cause annoyance for the two countries."

The two nations broke off ties shortly after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, after Cairo welcomed the deposed shah, but relations slowly improved throughout the 1990s.

Amr Mussa, then Egypt's foreign minister, said in February that there was "no valid reason" why the two nations should not have full ties but stopped short of calling for a total resumption of relations.

Eslambouli masterminded the 1981 murder of Sadat after Egypt became the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

The street named in his honour, in central Tehran, also features a giant mural of Eslambouli.

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