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`Kayhan International' slams Tehran City Council's decision to change street name; Egyptian MPs hail the decision

5/28/01 Tehran, May 28, IRNA -- `Kayhan International' in its viewpoint column on Monday slammed the recent decision of Tehran City Council (TCC) to change the name of martyr "Khaled Islambouli" street, with the contention that it will improve Tehran-Cairo ties in the interest of Islamic unity.

The English-language daily exalted martyr Islambouli, by saying that he has earned "immortality", as his first name Khaled suggests, not only in the hearts of the Egyptians but also among Muslims, the world over.

In fact, it stressed, his name will forever be enshrined in the annals of the struggle against treason to the Palestinian cause whether or not the Zionist regime and its Arab and Muslim collaborators survive.

It regretted that such a great warrior as Islambouli, "has been denied his due place in modern Egypt in official circles, at least for the time being."

Nevertheless, Tehran feels just as proud for having the street named in honor of this great mujahid, it commended, vividly recalling his heroic act, way back in October 1981, in executing in a revolutionary manner, a modern-day Pharaoh, Anwar Sadat, who deserved to die.

It went on to accuse the TCC of starting another unnecessary row by deciding to remove his name plaque from the street.

But whether the Hizbullah nation of Iran will allow the "conspiracy", on the part of the TCC, to succeed in changing the street name, is another question, reflected the daily.

This "self-humiliating and most unwarranted statement", has gone against the very principles and values of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, it said, warning the TCC.

Not only this, but it will also "alienate us from Egypt's Muslim masses to consider Khaled Islambouli as an inspiration and as a martyr to the Palestinian cause," it added.

But what comes as a greater surprise is the fact that the TCC has proposed to change the name to "Intifada" or "Mohammad ad-Durrah," wrote the daily.

"Nothing could be more insulting for the Palestinian uprising or for the memory of the Palestinian child-martyr than to be instruments for blotting out the name of Khaled Islambouli," hit out the paper.

It reminded the TCC that Islambouli's "heart, beat for the Palestinian and Islamic cause."

Therefore, if at all the TCC is so keen to see restoration of diplomatic ties between the two governments of Iran and Egypt, then the paper sternly suggested that it should "politely" ask Cairo to relocate its diplomatic mission to another street in Tehran.

After all, the "Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Street in Cairo, has never been viewed by us as an obstacle to resumption of diplomatic ties," pointed out the daily.

It is thus "wrong and totally unjustified" for the TCC to equate, what it called "soul-less fossils" with the immortal spirit of martyrs, just because some people in the Egyptian Cabinet feel horror-struck at the name of Khaled Islambouli.

Egyptian MPs hail Tehran council decision

Athens, May 28, IRNA -- Egyptian deputies have greeted a recent move by the Tehran City Council to change the name of the Khaled Islambouli street in Tehran.

A report in the London-based Arab daily ``Al-Sharq al-Awsat'' published Sunday said the deputies described it as ``a serious and good move towards normalization of relations between the two countries.''

The official spokesman for the ``Muslim Brotherhood'' group in the Egyptian parliament, Mohammad Marsi, said: ``There was abundant of goodwill between the two countries before Tehran made this move, perhaps the path is now open to strengthen ties between them.''

Marsi said this step is important towards opening up of Arab-Iranian ties in general, adding ``especially that we are in a period where we need to gear up Arab-Muslim forces in order to confront the Zionist aggressor.''

Ahmed Abu Zaid, head of Arab affairs in the parliament, said although the change in the street name came late, it is an objective transformation in Egyptian-Iranian relations.

He called for a continuation of the circle to support Arab-Iranian ties in general.

Rajab Hilal Hameedah, a deputy for the opposition al-Ahrar Party, blessed the Iranian move saying it expresses a goodwill in the right direction.

He added that perhaps the time is now ripe for the announcement of the opening of the embassies of the two countries in Cairo and Tehran.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat said the Egyptian deputies called for a dialogue between the parliament and the Egyptian government over the parliament's and the government's perspective on restoration of Egyptian-Iranian ties.

The speaker of the Egyptian parliament Fathi Sorur might visit Tehran following an invitation from the Iranian parliament, added the paper.

The Tehran City Council last week approved to start an urgent debate on changing a street name in Tehran which has been a sticky point in Iran-Egypt diplomatic ties.

Members of the council agreed to a proposal to change the name of the street from Khaled Islambouli to `Intifada Martyrs' or `Mohammad ad-Dura', a young Palestinian protestor who was shot dead by the Israeli troops while nestling beside his father for shelter from bullets.

Islambouli, An Egyptian military officer and member of Al-Jihad Organization, assassinated President Anwar Sadat during a military parade in Cairo in October 1981 for signing a peace treaty with Israel.

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