Marzieh Afkham, the Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman. ISNA photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The Iranian government condemned the publication of Prophet Mohammed cartoons in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, calling it “insulting and provocative to Muslim sensitivity.”
Marzieh Afkham, the Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman, said on Wednesday that, “Respect for the beliefs and sacredness of divine religions is an accepted principle and it is expected of European statesmen to honor this principle.”
Afkham added that the attack by two Muslim brothers on the office of Charlie Hebdo that led to the death of 12 journalists last week was against the teachings of Islam.
“Abusing the freedom of speech in the West is not acceptable and should be stopped,” she said.
On the cover of its latest edition on Wednesday, the French magazine ran a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed carrying a placard that reads, “I am Charlie. All is forgiven.”
Meanwhile, followers of the Iranian Hezbollah, a radical Shiite group, welcomed the death of the French journalists in Paris, saying they “met their legitimate justice, and congratulations to all Muslims.”
The website of Ansar-e-Hezbollah (yalasarat.com) said on its front page Wednesday: “The death of the insulters of Prophet Mohammed has nothing to do with the terrorist acts of ISIS (Islamic State).”
It also criticized Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and other officials for publicly condemning the Paris attacks.
The Iranian Hezbollah’s Yalsarat Weekly wrote that killing anyone who insults the Prophet of Islam “is a blessed act.”