(News24.com) | February 20, 2010

Tehran – Iran has banned travel agencies from organising tours to countries where concerts are held during Shi’ite mourning holidays, newspapers quoted a tourism official as saying on Saturday.

The move came after Iran’s tourism organisation banned package holidays to neighbouring Dubai where concerts by expat Iranian singers were to be held this month during a long holiday including the death anniversary of Prophet Mohammed.

“It is forbidden to organise tours to countries where concerts are held on mourning days and (those marking) the passing of imams when Islamic moral codes are disrespected in these concerts,” deputy tourism chief Reza Mousavi said.

Mousavi said his organisation would penalise travel agencies which had organised tours to Dubai during the February 13 – 15 holidays, Tehran Emrouz newspaper reported.

He said a ban was also ordered on tours to Iran’s northern neighbour Armenia in this period but later lifted after officials learned that “concerts had been cancelled”.

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