AFP: Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday urged Iranians to shun next week's Persian fire festival as an un-Islamic event which causes "a lot of harm." News in Persian
Seven people have already been reported killed in the runup to the festival, ISNA news agency said, quoting a police chief.
Charshanbe Soori, an ancient pagan festival, is held on the eve of the last Wednesday of the Persian calendar year. This year, the ritual falls on the night of March 16.
Khamenei, Iran's all-powerful cleric, said on his website that Charshanbe Soori has "no basis in sharia (Islamic religious law) and creates a lot of harm and corruption, (which is why) it is appropriate to avoid it." >>>
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