19 Jan 2015
More than 2,000 Iranians protested Monday outside the French embassy in Tehran, chanting “Death to France” and urging the ambassador be expelled because of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.
The demonstration was in response to French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s use of the cartoon in an edition published a week after 12 people were killed by Islamist gunmen at its Paris offices.
The image has angered many Muslims as depictions of Mohammed are widely considered forbidden in Islam, and has triggered protests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, some of which turned deadly.
Iran denounced the Paris massacre but it also condemned the magazine’s new cartoon, where the prophet holds a “Je suis Charlie” sign under the heading “All is forgiven”.
Plans for Monday’s protest led the French ambassador to announce that the embassy, located in busy downtown Tehran, would be closed all day.
The gathering, organised by students but attended by all age groups, was given a heavy security detail of around 150 Iranian police, and although noisy it passed off peacefully after two hours.