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Egypt Raids Iranian TV Bureau, Seizes Gear in Dispute Over Sadat Film


Egyptian police have raided the Cairo office of an Iranian television network involved in a dispute over a controversial film about Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian president assassinated nearly 30 years ago.

Egyptian security officials said Thursday that police entered the office of Iran's state-owned Al-Alam television and confiscated its equipment earlier this week because it lacked a proper broadcasting license. Al-Alam's Cairo bureau chief is quoted as saying the the raid was related to a false charge that the network had a role in producing the Sadat film, called "Assassination of a Pharaoh."

The documentary portrays in a positive light the assassin who killed Mr. Sadat in 1981, and Arab critics say it brands the former Egyptian leader a traitor for signing a peace treaty with Israel two years earlier.

Iran and Egypt have not had full diplomatic relations since Iran's Islamic revolution toppled the monarchy in Tehran. The deposed shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, lived in the United States at first, but then moved to Cairo, where he died in 1980.

Egypt was the first Arab state to open diplomatic relations with Israel. Iran's former leader, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, cut all ties with Egypt after he took power in 1979, and vowed that Iran would never restore relations unless Cairo broke off all links with Israel.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.


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