Iran declares culture war on France over new Charlie Hebdo cartoon

As a first step, the French Research Institute will be closed in Tehran

As a first step, the French Research Institute will be closed in Tehran

A photo: REUTERS

The Iranian government announced the closure of the French Research Institute in Tehran in response to a cartoon of the country’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, posted in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The Iranian Foreign Ministry called the drawing an “inhuman” act that undermines “generally recognized norms of morality,” destroys “religious sanctity” and “political authority,” and offends “state symbols and national values.”

The Iranian authorities reported that they are already reviewing cooperation with Paris in the cultural sphere and even discussing the suspension of the educational activities of the French in the country. They stressed that the closure of the institute is only a “first step”, writes RTVE.

Amir Abdollahian recalled the inaction of the French authorities against the backdrop of Islamophobia, when in January 2015, 12 drawings depicting the Prophet Muhammad appeared on the cover of the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo. On the morning of the next day, the terrorists broke into the editorial office of the magazine in Paris and opened fire on the people who were there. As a result, 12 people were killed, including employees and the editor-in-chief of the publication, and 11 more were injured.

The Iranian government also accused Charlie Hebdo of using the noble right to freedom of expression as a cover for anti-cultural activities and desecration of human beings and dignity, moral and religious values.

French reaction

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna supported the satirical Charlie Hebdo cartoons and said that “unlike Iran, there are constitutional guarantees for freedom of the media in France.” True, it seems that the Column forgot to inform the President of the Fifth Republic, Emmanuel Macron, about this. After all, he recently filed a lawsuit against a fortune-teller known in France for publicly insulting his personality. According to the complaint, seer Delphine Jegus (also known as Amandine Roy) posted caricatures of the French president drawn by Toulon publicist Michelangelo Flory on social media. In some drawings, Macron was depicted as a Nazi, somewhere he even stood next to Marshal Philippe P├ętain (dictator of the Vichy collaborationist regime).

Interestingly, this is not the first time that Delphine Zhegus has been prosecuted by the Elysee Palace: in March last year, Bridget Macron already sued her for spreading rumors accusing the first lady of being transgender.

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