TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry highlighted the positive outlook the country has on its relations with Tajikistan, saying, though, that certain third parties appear to be seeking a rift between the two countries.

“Iran and Tajikistan have a lot in common, and there is a positive view in Iran on Tajikistan, as Iran has always tried to enhance the (bilateral) relations,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said at a press conference on Monday, when asked about any strains in the relationship between Tehran and Dushanbe.

“Sometimes, there is a feeling that third countries are trying to undermine the relations between the two countries (Iran and Tajikistan) given their unique commonalities,” he deplored.

The spokesman further said that Tehran is trying to clear up any misunderstandings that may have arisen in Dushanbe, expressing the hope that such diplomatic efforts would yield results.

His comments came after the economic and cultural offices of the Iranian embassy in Tajikistan’s northern province of Sughd were closed at the request of the Tajik government.

IFP news quoted local sources as saying that Tajik authorities have ordered the directors of the Iranian organizations in Khujand, the second-largest city of Tajikistan, to stop their activities because Tajikistan “does not need their services anymore.”

Over the past two years, most of the organizations related to Iran have been forced to shut down in Tajikistan, including the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation and its offices across the country, office of the Iranian embassy’s Cultural Attaché, and a hospital jointly run by the Tajik government and the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Reports suggest that the Tajik government has also restricted the activities of some Iranian companies and businesses in the country.

Witnesses say no Iranian-produced goods could be found in Tajik markets and all of the outlets selling Iranian products have been closed.