Sketches mocking the Supreme Leader do not pass.
Several dozen Iranians gathered this Sunday in front of the French Embassy in Tehran where they burned French flags to protest against the cartoons of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, published in the Charlie Hebdo newspaper.
Gathered in central Tehran, the protesters, mostly Shiite seminary students and women in chadors, held Iranian flags, portraits of Khamenei and placards denouncing the satirical newspaper, reporters said.
AFP/ATTA KENARE AFP or licensors
“Oh France, abandon your hostility!
“, and” Shame on France “, chanted the demonstrators who burned French flags.
Charlie Hebdo published on Wednesday a series of cartoons featuring the highest religious and political figure in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Another great cartoon from Charlie Hebdo.
Khamenei screaming: "That's horrifying!"
as he discovers some cartoons while he's sitting near bodies of Iranians he executed.
Sums it all.
— Zineb Riboua (@zriboua) January 8, 2023
Iran has denounced the "insulting and indecent" cartoons that appeared in a special edition on the anniversary of the deadly 2015 attack on the Charlie Hebdo premises in Paris.
The Iranian authorities had warned France that they would take retaliatory measures.
Tehran thus announced the closure of the French Research Institute in Iran (IFRI), the oldest and most important French research center in the country, affiliated to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The IFRI, located in the center of the Iranian capital, had been closed for many years.
It had reopened under the presidency of the moderate Hassan Rouhani (2013-2021) as a sign of the warming of bilateral relations.
“Insult to religious figures”
This Sunday, in front of the French Embassy, Karim Heydarpour, a 17-year-old seminary student, said he had participated in the rally to "support the Revolution and the Supreme Guide".
"We must give (opponents of the Islamic Republic) an answer so that they do not think that we do not support our Revolution", he estimated.
A similar gathering took place earlier in Qom, a Shia holy city nearly 150 km south of Tehran, according to state television footage.
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Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said on Sunday that freedom of expression should not be used as a pretext to "insult" religious figures.
He called on Paris to "respect the fundamental principles of international relations", and not to interfere in Iran's internal affairs.
Charlie Hebdo said it published the cartoons in support of the Iranian people during the protests sparked by the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who died after being arrested by vice police.