Iran blocks ‘illegal’ rally at ancient king’s tomb

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Iranian authorities on Sunday prevented an “illegal gathering” at the tomb of ancient Persian king Cyrus the Great and arrested a number of suspects, opposition figures told Al Arabiya.

A statement from the National Council of Resistance of Iran said that regime officials have taken repressive measures since a few weeks ago to prevent this move.

“To prevent people from entering Pasargad, Revolutionary Guards, Basij, police and plain-clothed forces were sent from neighboring provinces and cities to Fars province and the surrounding areas of Pasargad. They have been and controlling the roads leading to the Pasargad nearby cities,” the statement read.

Authorities on Saturday cut the main highway between the cities of Shiraz and Esfahan, which leads to an archaeological site where the tomb is believed to be located.

They said the closure was for road work.

Authorities later said they had arrested a number of rally organizers “for having violated norms and chanting slogans against the values” of the Islamic republic of Iran.

Cyrus the Great was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC and ruled over ancient Persia for about 30 years.

So-called “Cyprus Day” rallies are held on October 29 to mark the king’s capture of Babylon in 539 B.C, after which he allowed Jews held there as slaves to walk free.

Iran’s last shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was ousted by the 1979 Islamic revolution, had claimed to be a descendent of Cyrus.

(With AFP)

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