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National Reporter's Day: Iran remembers reporter, diplomats killed in 1998 terror attack

A mural of eight Iranian diplomats and a reporter who lost their lives in a terrorist attack in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998.

Iran has commemorated the martyrdom anniversary of an Iranian reporter and eight diplomats killed in a Taliban terrorist attack in Afghanistan, marking the National Reporter's Day.

The nine Iranian citizens were killed after Taliban militants invaded the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif on August 8, 1998, in a brutal terror attack on Iran's consulate there that sparked worldwide condemnations.

Since then, August 8 has been designated in Iran as National Reporter's Day.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Ministry paid tribute to the "martyrs of the terrorist attack."

The ministry also called for "clarifying the dimensions" of the "bitter and unforgettable" incident, stressing that it is "a definite demand."

The statement stressed that the attack on the Iranian consulate general in 1998 that claimed nine lives was in violation of moral, humanitarian and international commitments.

Iran’s former Charge d'Affaires to Kabul Mohammad Reza Forqani was quoted by Fars News Agency in 2015 as saying that the Taliban had taken the Iranian diplomats hostage, but later released them.

He further emphasized that the US and British spy agencies played a role in the killing of the Iranians in a bid to sow discord between Iran and Afghanistan.

The Tuesday statement stressed that restoring stability and progress to war-torn Afghanistan requires the formation of an inclusive government that would represent all ethnic groups.

Afghanistan is currently ruled by an interim government announced by the Taliban in 2021 after it took control of the country following a chaotic withdrawal of US-led foreign forces.

Also on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian paid tribute to the martyrs in a post on Instagram.

He also congratulated Iranian reporters on National Reporter's Day, noting that the missions of journalists and diplomats have something in common which is that they are concerned with "national interests and national security."

Stressing the important role journalists and media workers play, Amir-Abdollahian noted that the foreign ministry welcomes increased interactions with them.

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