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Sunnis barred from holding Eid al-Adha prayers in Tehran

Iranian Sunni Muslim activists have reported that Sunni worshipers were blocked from entering their prayer hall in eastern Tehran on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.

Iranian Sunni worshippers (centre) pray as they stand with Shi'ite Muslims during Tehran's Friday prayers October 14, 2011. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS RELIGION) - GM1E7AE1UKE01

News reports are saying that Sunni worshipers who had gathered outside a prayer hall in Tehran's eastern Resalat neighborhood were dispersed by the police and barred from entering the venue to hold communal prayers on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, commemorating Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son as God had commanded. Sources affiliated with Sunni activists say an official permit for the gathering had been obtained from Interior Ministry officials and the Tehran governorate's political deputy.

Eyewitnesses who had planned to participate confirmed the accuracy of the reports to Al-Monitor, adding that there had been no use of force by the security forces and that the crowd had left the area peacefully. Iran, including the capital, is predominantly Shiite, and the Sunni minority has long complained of marginalization and state control.

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