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Tehran International Book Fair underway

4th May 2011

The Tehran International Book Fair, the largest general and public sales fair in the Middle East, begins today in Iran.

Taking place at the Imam Khomeini Mosalla over the next ten days, the event is set to attract over 4,000 local and international publishers and is one of the most important cultural events in Iran, according to the country's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

He noted that the participation of publishers from 67 countries can help to promote literature in the region and highlight the importance of reading.

'Holding a book fair ... provides an unlimited arena for the interaction of various thoughts. Thank God, despite the serious and attractive rivals of the book, it is still the first for linking thoughts and exchanging ideas,' the president added.

At the launch of the event earlier this week, Ahmadinejad expressed his hope that one day 'all arms would convert to pens' and international disputes could be settled in a diplomatic way without the need for bloodshed.

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