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Iran denies pulling out of Sudan cultural centers

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CAIRO (AP) — A semi-official news agency in Iran is reporting that the Islamic Republic has denied pulling out of its cultural centers in Sudan after the government there ordered them closed.

A report Wednesday by the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Iranian deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahaian as saying Sudan's leaders will thwart any attempt to damage relations between the two countries. It also quoted him as saying: "Certain streams in Sudan are seeking to impair the good relations between Tehran and Khartoum."

On Tuesday, Sudan's Foreign Ministry said it ordered the centers closed, calling them a social and ideological threat to the largely Sunni country.

Shiite Iran has had good relations with the Islamist government of Sudan. Their close relations have strained Sudan's ties with Sunni Gulf countries.

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