Shijal ChudasamaJanuary 5, 2023

Due to the Khamenei cartoons in Charlie Hebdo, Iran closes the French Institute.

Due to the Khamenei cartoons in Charlie Hebdo, Iran closes the French Institute.

Iran claims that it has shut down a French institute in Tehran because of "sacrilegious" caricatures of its supreme leader that appeared in a French satirical publication.

In support of the anti-government rallies in Iran, readers of Charlie Hebdo sent in drawings ridiculing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other Shia Muslim clerics for the most recent issue.

They contain some graphic sexual content.

Iran closes French institute over Charlie Hebdo's Khamenei cartoons
According to the Human Rights Activists' News Agency, at least 516 protestors have been killed and 19,260 others have been detained thus far (HRANA). Last month, two of those who were held were put to death following trials that human rights organizations deemed to have involved serious injustices.
The "insulting and provocative action" of printing drawings that criticize his country's "religious and political authorities" will not go unanswered, the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned in a tweet on Wednesday.

The French Institute for Research in Iran was closed, according to the foreign ministry of Iran, as a "first move" in retaliation.

If France would not "bring to account the perpetrators and promoters of such incidents of propagating hatred," it promised further action.

Prior to the announcement, France's Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna told LCI TV that blasphemy was not a crime under French law and that "freedom of the press exists [in France], unlike to what is happening in Iran."

In a special publication commemorating the eight-year anniversary of the attack on its Paris headquarters by militant Sunni Islamists who claimed to be retaliating for the publication of drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, Charlie Hebdo included caricatures of Ayatollah Khamenei. Five of the magazine's cartoonists were among the twelve fatalities.

Iran closes French institute over Charlie Hebdo's Khamenei cartoons

The magazine claimed that after announcing a contest to "help the battle of the Iranians who are fighting for their freedom, by ridiculing this religious leader from a bygone age, we have received more than 300 cartoons from readers and "thousands of threats,"

Ayatollah Khamenei is shown clutching a massive throne above demonstrators raising their fists in one of the more than 30 cartoons that have been released on Charlie Hebdo's website. Another shows a lady peeing on the head of state. A line of clerics walking into a naked woman's vagina is depicted in a cartoon on the book's front cover.

Iran closes French institute over Charlie Hebdo's Khamenei cartoons

In response to the death in detention of a woman who had been arrested by morality police for supposedly wearing her hijab, or headscarf, "improperly," protests led by women against Iran's religious establishment erupted in September.

Iran closes French institute over Charlie Hebdo's Khamenei cartoons

Authorities have used deadly force in response to the protests, portraying them as being sponsored by foreign governments.

According to the Human Rights Activists' News Agency, at least 516 protestors have been killed and 19,260 others have been detained thus far (HRANA). Last month, two of those who were held were put to death following trials that human rights organizations deemed to have involved serious injustices.

The "insulting and provocative action" of printing drawings that criticize his country's "religious and political authorities" will not go unanswered, the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned in a tweet on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, France's ambassador to Iran was summoned by the foreign ministry's spokesperson Nasser Kanani, who informed him that France "did not have the right to justify disrespect towards the sanctities of other countries and Islamic nations under the guise of freedom of speech."

The foreign ministry stated that it was also examining cultural connections with France and French cultural activities in Iran in a statement announcing the closure of the French Institute of Research in Iran.

The institute was established in 1983 and is connected to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Before it was reopened, it had been closed for several years. Hassan Rouhani, a moderate president in office from 2013 to 2021, oversaw its reopening.

Iran closes French institute over Charlie Hebdo's Khamenei cartoons
Iran closes French institute over Charlie Hebdo's Khamenei cartoons
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