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Iran closes French institute in protest to Khamenei cartoons

January 5, 2023 at 5:08 PM GMT+1

….Iran protests cartoons of Khamenei in French satirical weekly

A handout picture provided by the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on November 19, 2022, shows him in the capital Tehran, addressing a group of Iranians from the central city of Isfahan. (Khamenei.ir via AFP)

A handout picture provided by the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on November 19, 2022, shows him in the capital Tehran, addressing a group of Iranians from the central city of Isfahan. (AFP)

– AFP

Iran announced Thursday the closure of a Tehran-based French research institute in protest against cartoons of the Islamic republic’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei published by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

“The ministry is ending the activities of the French Institute for Research in Iran as a first step,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement, a day after Tehran had warned Paris of consequences.

Iran has been shaken by over three months of protests triggered by the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, an Iranian Kurd who was arrested for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.

Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday published the caricatures of Khamenei in support of the protests, in a special edition to mark the anniversary of the deadly 2015 attack on its Paris office which left 12 people dead.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian tweeted in response that “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 also summoned French ambassador Nicolas Roche.

IFRI, affiliated to the French foreign ministry, is a historical and archeological institute founded in 1983 after the merger of the French Archaeological Delegation in Iran and the French Institute of Iranology in Tehran.

Located in the centre of Tehran, it had been closed for many years but was reopened under the 2013-2021 presidency of the moderate president Hassan Rouhani as a sign of warming bilateral relations.

….Iran protests cartoons of Khamenei in French satirical weekly

Iran had on Wednesday, warned France that it would respond after “insulting” cartoons depicting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei were published in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The weekly had published dozens of cartoons on the same day ridiculing the highest religious and political figure in the Islamic Republic.

The magazine said the cartoons were part of a competition it launched in December in support of the protests triggered by the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurd who was arrested for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.

“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,” tweeted Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

“We will not allow the French government to go beyond its bounds. They have definitely chosen the wrong path.”

The French magazine said the contest aimed “to support the struggle of Iranians who are fighting for their freedom.”

Iranian authorities say hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed and thousands arrested in what they generally describe as “riots,” and have accused hostile foreign powers and opposition groups of stoking the unrest.

Charlie Hebdo published the caricatures in an special edition to mark the anniversary of a deadly attack on its Paris office on January 7, 2015 by assailants who said they were acting on behalf of al-Qaeda to avenge the magazine’s decision to publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

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