Tehran’s Pro-government protesters condemn Charlie Hebdo cartoons, French administration
WANA (JAN 8) – Earlier, Iranian seminary teachers and students called for a gathering in front of the French Embassy in Tehran on Sunday to protest against the recent act of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which published “insulting” cartoons of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Meanwhile, Iran’s government has reacted by summoning the French ambassador to Tehran Nicolas Roche to object to the insulting act of French magazine calling it “aggressive and indecent”, as well as closing the French Iranology Institute (Institut Français de Recherche en Iran), the cultural branch of the French Embassy as the first step in response to the cartoons published by the controversial Paris-based journal.
The cartoons enraged Iranian officials who responded to them immediately. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian sent a tweet to say: “The insulting and indecent act of a French publication in publishing cartoons against the religious and political authority will not go without an effective and decisive response.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kan’ani also called on the French statesmen on Sunday to consider the rights of other countries from the viewpoint of respecting religious holiness and domestic affairs.
In his tweet, Kan’ani said that with its dark history of colonialism, violation of human rights and freedom of speech inside and outside of the country, France has not the right to insult so blatantly religious sanctities of other countries and nations, and followers of divine religions on the pretext of freedom of speech.
A high-ranking Iranian Cleric Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani on Saturday also lambasted the insulting cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo and called on world bodies of the Islamic world to pursue the issue.
In a statement made by the office of Ayatollah Nuri Hamedani, he censured France for sacrilegious action taken as the perpetrators put it in the framework of freedom of speech.
Moreover, Iranian Parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf claimed today that the blasphemous act the French publication against the Islamic Republic’s top religious authority represents the Western anger at the failure of what he called the recent foreign-backed riots in the country.
Following such responses, a group of less than 200 protesters gathered in front of the French Embassy in Tehran to demonstrate their anger, they chanted slogans such as: “Death to France”, Death to U.S.”, “Death to UK”, “France shame on you, stop enmity with Iran.”
A protester said: “The West’s double standards won’t be in their benefits and will make an issue for them. We are here to express our hatred toward the insulting act. We believe that the sacred characters and believes must be respected in all religions and nobody is allowed to disrespect the sanctity of the others.”
The other one said: “We expect that the issue [insult of the Leader] is pursued seriously and diplomatically. We want that the French ambassador is summoned and is confronted firmly.”