Iran-France tensions escalate over Charlie Hebdo cartoons row

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Iran condemned French satirical mag for publishing caricatures of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

demonstrators pain  a gallic  emblem  during a protestation  against cartoons of the muslim  republic s ultimate  person  ayatollah ali khamenei published by gallic  satirical play   charlie hebdo extracurricular  the gallic  embassy successful  iran s superior  tehran connected  january 8 2023 photograph  afp

Demonstrators pain a French emblem during a protestation against cartoons of the Islamic republic's ultimate person Ayatollah Ali Khamenei published by French satirical play Charlie Hebdo, extracurricular the French embassy successful Iran's superior Tehran connected January 8, 2023. PHOTO: AFP


Tensions betwixt Iran and France are connected the boil implicit the work of caricatures of the Iranian ultimate leader, with the country’s apical wide informing of revenge.

French satirical mag Charlie Hebdo published a bid of caricatures depicting Ayatollah Ali Khamenei successful its peculiar contented past week, which Iranian authorities deemed “insulting” to the apical governmental and spiritual figure.

Many Iranian officials, including the president, overseas minister, apical subject commanders and elder parliamentarians, person issued statements criticizing the mag and the French government.

There person besides been a bid of demonstrations successful beforehand of the French Embassy successful Tehran successful caller days amid increasing calls to reappraisal diplomatic ties with France.

In the astir scathing absorption to the work of the cartoons, which were portion of a contention announced by the mag past month, the main of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) connected Tuesday said Muslims volition “sooner oregon later” nonstop revenge against Charlie Hebdo.

Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, speaking astatine an lawsuit successful south-eastern Iran’s Zahedan city, asked the owners of Charlie Hebdo mag to “look into the destiny of Salman Rushdie”.

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Rushdie was attacked during an lawsuit successful New York connected August 12 past year, astir 33 years aft Iran’s then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa (decree) against him for his arguable caller “The Satanic Verses” published successful 1988.

The IRGC commandant said the French satirical magazine, which has antecedently been progressive successful contention implicit the work of cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, made a “big mistake” by publishing Khamenei’s caricatures and volition spot the revenge.

“Do not play with (the sentiments of) Muslims,” Salami said. “Salman Rushdie insulted the Quran and the Holy Prophet of Islam 30 years agone and went into hiding.”

"After respective years, a young Muslim antheral bravely took revenge connected Salman Rushdie and nary 1 could prevention him," helium added.

The IRGC general, however, didn’t explicate the quality of “revenge” against the French magazine.

The cartoons featuring Ayatollah Khamenei were published days earlier the 8th day of a violent onslaught connected Charlie Hebdo office successful January 2015, which killed 17 people.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian past week accused France of choosing "the incorrect path" by allowing the work of cartoons mocking the country’s apical figure.

“The insulting and indecent enactment of a French work successful publishing cartoons against the spiritual and governmental authorization volition not spell without a decisive and effectual response," helium wrote connected Twitter.

The Foreign Ministry besides announced a determination to reappraisal France’s taste activities successful Iran and the closure of the decades-old French probe halfway arsenic the “first step”.

French Ambassador to Tehran Nicolas Roche was summoned to the ministry past Wednesday and told that Iran does not tolerate insults to its sanctities.

“France has nary close to warrant insults to sanctities of different countries and Muslim nations nether the pretext of state of expression,” ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said successful a statement.

In effect to Iran’s determination to unopen down the French Institute for Research, which operates nether the French Embassy successful Tehran, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre said successful a connection past week that it was “clearly regrettable if confirmed”.

Charlie Hebdo, for its part, vowed to people much cartoons of Iranian leaders, dismissing caller threats from Iran’s subject officials.

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Amid heightened tensions, the French Foreign Ministry connected Tuesday said it was considering the thought that the European Union statement Iran's IRGC arsenic a violent organization.

It came a time aft German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock connected Monday said a caller circular of sanctions against Iran would not beryllium enough, backing the determination to designate the IRGC.

"Listing the Revolutionary Guard arsenic a violent enactment is politically important and makes sense," she wrote connected Twitter, portion besides referring to ineligible obstacles.

Paris, which has been reluctant to endorse the determination truthful far, appears to beryllium changing its stance amid rising tensions with Tehran implicit the Charlie Hebdo caricatures contention and the apprehension of immoderate French nationals successful Iran connected charges of espionage successful caller months.

Earlier this month, Iran's judiciary issued indictments against 2 much French nationals arrested connected charges of "espionage, gathering, and collusion" against the country's interior security, taking the full fig of French detainees successful Iran to 7 arsenic per French officials.

"Given the continuation of this repression, France is moving with its European partners connected caller sanctions' measures, without excluding any," Legendre said connected the designation of IRGC.

Iran has antecedently warned that designating the IRGC arsenic a violent enactment would beryllium a "completely illegal” determination arsenic it is the authoritative subject subdivision of the Iranian government.

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