Iranians protest outside French embassy over defamatory cartoons
Dozens of Iranian protesters have gathered outside France’s embassy in Tehran to express their anger at a French publication after it called for cartoons attacking the Islamic Republic’s top religious and political authority.
The protesters, most of them religious seminary students, gathered in front of the embassy in the center of the capital Tehran on Sunday while holding placards to condemn the move by the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
They set fire to France’s national flag and chanted slogans against France, the US, Britain and the Israeli regime.
They waved Iranian flags, held pictures of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, and signs reading, “I will sacrifice my life for the Leader.”
The participants also called on Iranian Foreign Ministry officials to take necessary measures in response.
Similar protests were also held in Iran’s holy city of Qom.
In a statement, the religious seminary students said the French government must stop its support for such irrational sacrilegious moves under the pretense of advocating freedom of expression.
They urged the French government and President Emmanuel Macron to apologize to the Iranian people.
The French magazine has published several insulting cartoons of Ayatollah Khamenei after the controversial right-wing magazine had in early December announced a competition for such cartoons.
In a statement on Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Tehran holds the French government responsible for the uncultured, inhumane move by the notorious French weekly.
The ministry also said it would review France’s cultural activities in Iran, and that it was “ending the activities of the French Institute for Research in Iran as a first step.”
A day earlier, the Iranian Foreign Ministry had summoned the French Ambassador in Tehran, Nicolas Roche, to protest the act of anti-Muslim bigotry.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also strongly condemned the “insulting” act and promised a “decisive” response.