Eurovision row escalates as Iran withdraws ambassador
Thursday 24 May 2012
Iran has withdrawn its ambassador from Azerbaijan in a row about the Eurovision Song Contest.
Iran withdrew its envoy for consultations in Tehran after the two countries accused each other of meddling in each other's affairs, as secular Azerbaijan prepares to host the hugely popular international talent show in Baku.
The annual song contest has been condemned by some Iranian clerics and MPs who referred to it as a "gay parade", although no such event is planned.
One senior Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Sobhani, has urged Muslims in the region to protest against what he called anti-Islamic behaviour by Azerbaijan's government.
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