Iran warns Paris against 'insulting' cartoons of Khamenei

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Iran warns Paris against “insulting” cartoons by Khamenei

The guide of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and, in the background, the portrait of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini.

Iran warned France on Wednesday that it will react to the publication of “insulting” caricatures of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The weekly published dozens of cartoons on Wednesday featuring the Islamic Republic's highest religious and political figure.

These are the cartoons selected in a contest launched in December, as protests escalated in Iran following the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurd arrested for violating the strict dress code of this country.

The insulting and indecent act of a French publication by publishing caricatures against religious and political authority will not remain not without an effective and firm response, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Twitter.

We will not allow the French government to overstep the mark, he added.

Charlie Hebdo explained in December that this international competition to produce cartoons of Khamenei was aimed at supporting Iranians fighting for their freedom.

Iranian authorities say hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, were killed and that thousands more were arrested in what they generally describe as riots.

They accuse foreign powers and opposition groups of stirring up unrest. Wednesday's issue of Charlie Hebdo features several sexual cartoons showing Ayatollah Khamenei and other Iranian clerics, while other cartoons decry the use of punishment capital as a tactic to intimidate protesters.

It was a way to show our support for Iranian men and women who risk their lives to defend their freedom against the theocracy that has oppressed them since 1979, said in an editorial the director of the publication, Laurent Sourisseau, known as Riss.

All the cartoons published have the credit of having defied the authority that the supposed supreme leader claims to be, as well as the cohort of his servants and other swordsmen, he added.

Iran has been rocked for several weeks since September by protests following the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman after her arrest by the “morals police”.

In Tehran, the French ambassador, Nicolas Roche, was summoned on Wednesday evening by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Islamic Republic of Iran in no way accepts the insult of its […] Islamic, religious and national values ​​[…] and France has no right to insult what is sacred […] for Muslim countries under the pretext of freedom of expression, said ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani.

Iran considers the French government responsible for this heinous, insulting and unjustified act, he added in a press release, adding that he was waiting for an explanation from Paris.

Nathalie Loiseau , a French member of the European Parliament and former minister (2017-2019), described the Iranian reaction as an attempt at interference and a threat to Charlie Hebdo.

Let it be perfectly clear: the repressive and theocratic regime in Tehran has nothing to teach France, she said on Twitter.

Charlie Hebdo published the cartoons in a special edition for the anniversary of the deadly attack on his Paris office on January 7, 2015. This attack was carried out by assailants who claimed to be acting on behalf of al-Qaeda to avenge the newspaper's decision to publish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The publ The publication of these cartoons sparked a lot of anger in Muslim countries, and the 2015 attacks brought a wave of support to the magazine around the world.

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