Tajik Imam accuses Iran of killing 150,000 of its compatriots
In the publication, Abdusattor Yusupov wrote that Iran had initiated and financially supported the civil war in Tajikistan (1992-1997), which had killed more than 150,000 people. He also stressed that today Iran endorses the Islamic Renaissance Party (PIVT), recognised terrorist in Tajikistan. In conclusion, the Imam khatib called on the people of Tajikistan to be "politically vigilant" and "unite around the Nation Leader - President Emomali Rahmon."
There were series of critics against Iran from the Tajik side. Relations between the two states sharply deteriorated after Tehran invited Muhiddin Kabiri, the leader of the PIVT, to the international conference in December 2015 who met there with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
In response, the Tajik Foreign Ministry handed the Iranian ambassador a note of protest, while Mufti Saidmukarram Abdukodirzoda and other public figures and politicians of Tajikistan accused Iran of supporting terrorists.
Immediately after this, Tajik authorities imposed restrictions on the import of food products from Iran, in particular, meat products and tea, explaining this decision by the low quality of these goods.
Later, Tajikistan stopped issuing visas to Iranian citizens under a simplified system - directly at the Dushanbe airport. The activities of Imam Khomeini's Assistance Committee "Imdod", a well-known Iranian charity organisation, the trade and cultural representation of the Iranian embassy in Khujand have been seized.
And in August 2017, Tajik television showed a documentary film prepared by the Interior Ministry, in which Iran was accused of financing high-profile murders during the civil war in Tajikistan. Among the victims were ex-Speaker Safarali Kendjaev, well-known journalist Otakhon Latifi, scientists Muhammad Osimi, Yusuf Iskhaki, Minhodja Gulyamov, politician Karim Yuldashev, writer Saif Rahim, former mufti Fatkhullohon and about 20 officers of the Russian 201st Motorised Rifle Division in Tajikistan. The film is based on the confessions of three prisoners who allegedly were trained in Iran, and, having joined the PIVT committed the murders.
During the civil war in Tajikistan, the PIVT was the backbone of the United Tajik Opposition which fought with the official pro-communist regime. After the conclusion of the General Peace Accord (on 27 June 1997), the PIVT achieved legalisation had been the only officially functioning religious party in the post-Soviet space during 16 years until September 2015.
In August 2015, the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan demanded the PIVT cease its activities. In September, the leadership of the PIVT, including Muhiddin Kabiri, were accused of involvement in the military mutiny of former deputy defence minister Abdukhalim Nazarzoda. The Tajik Supreme Court ruled the party a terrorist organisation arresting its leadership.
In June 2016, 14 members of the PIVT political council were convicted to different terms of imprisonment, two of them to life. Muhiddin Kabiri left Tajikistan before the events of September 2015; at present, he is wanted by the Tajik authorities.