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Iran Marks End of Ramadan on 2 Different Days

Iran Marks End of Ramadan on 2 Different Days

Sunday, 24 May, 2020 - 18:30
Worshippers wearing protective face masks and gloves offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside a shrine to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Iranians in a rare event mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan this year on separate days -- Sunday or Monday -- depending on different religious authorities' edicts.

Supreme leader Ali Khamenei announced Saturday evening that the Eid al-Fitr would fall on Sunday this year.

But the country's other senior clerics, such as Javadi Amoli, Makarem Shirazi and Safi Golpayegani, among others -- have issued separate statements saying the holiday would be celebrated on Monday, Agence France Presse reported.

There is no "political motive" behind this discrepancy over the date, contrary to what "some people might think", Alireza Movahednejad, a member of the committee linked to the office of the supreme leader that is responsible for announcing the end of Ramadan, said.

In practice, due to Iran’s political system, almost all open religious sites -- affiliated with the state -- will mark Eid on Sunday.

In the capital Tehran, where many mosques remain closed as part of measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, worshippers took part in morning prayers while trying to respect social distancing rules, said AFP journalists.

Collective prayers are still banned in principle in the city due to the pandemic, but special dispensation has been granted for Eid al-Fitr.

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