Iran Shuts Down Cultural Wing of French Embassy in Tehran Over Insulting Cartoons

Iran Shuts Down Cultural Wing of French Embassy in Tehran Over Insulting Cartoons

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - In response to Charlie Hebdo's move to deride the supreme religious authority of the Islamic Republic, the Iranian Foreign Ministry has decided to close a French archaeological and historical institute with offices in Tehran.

The French embassy's cultural wing's Institut Français de Recherche formerly studied antiquities from ancient Persia.

Following Charlie Hebdo's offensive action, the Iranian ministry condemned it as evidence of how Zionism has used the media to fight against Islam and foster enmity and division human beings.

In a statement released on Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned, in the strongest terms, the French magazine’s decision to publish several insulting cartoons of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in a special issue later this week. The controversial right-wing magazine had in early December announced a competition for producing the cartoons.

It said such an offensive move by the notorious magazine amounts to the violation of the recognized moral norms, barbaric desecration of religious sanctities, a sacrilegious move against the political and religious authorities, and an offense against the administrative symbols and national values of Iranians.

The ministry said the closure of the French institute was "the first step" in response to the insulting cartoons.

Charlie Hebdo’s insult reveals once again that Zionism has taken advantage of media to promote anti-Islamic sentiments and foment hatred and division among societies and people, the Iranian Foreign Ministry added.

On Wednesday, French Ambassador of France to Tehran Nicolas Roche was summoned by the Iranian Foreign Ministry in protest at the insulting cartoons.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran brooks by no means any insults to its sanctities, and Islamic, religious, and national values,” the Ministry’s Spokesman Nasser Kanaani told the French envoy in the meeting.

“France has no right to justify insults to other countries’ and Muslim nations’ sanctities under the pretext of freedom of expression,” he noted, voicing Iran’s “strong protest” to the French government.

The French ambassador said he would convey Iran’s protest to his respective country.

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