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Iran denies replaced envoys supporting "rioters"

Iran's Foreign Ministry denied Wednesday reports that some envoys abroad have been replaced for "supporting rioters" during the post-election unrest in Tehran, the satellite Press TV reported.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran, the ministry's spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said that the replacement of more than 40 ambassadors was a natural event, said the report.

"Changing ambassadors, heads of our overseas offices and consulates, is a natural affair that happens every three years," Qashqavi was quoted as saying.

With more than 130 embassies abroad, the ministry usually changes one third of its work force, about 45 envoys, every year around summer, Qashqavi added.

According to the report of local Fars news agency on Tuesday, Iran recently changed some of its ambassadors including those who supported the "rioters" of the country's post-election unrest.

Protests gripped Tehran and other Iranian cities after the June presidential election, amid claims that the vote had been rigged in favor of the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran's judiciary said that about 4,000 protestors were arrested shortly after the June election, and 3,700 were soon released.

 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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