Photo Credit: Thierry Ehrmann
Painter working on a portrait of the Ali Khamenei, June 24, 2009.

On Wednesday Iran warned France it was going to respond harshly to the “insulting” cartoons making fun of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The Iranians were especially upset by the magazine’s latest cartoon involving the elderly Ayatollah with two women doing unspeakable things to him.

And then, the Islamic Republic said this mortifying cartoon was “an indication that Zionism has utilized media to act against Islam and promote hate and division among human beings.”


Way to go, Zionism.

It gets darker, though.

You obviously recall that on January 7, 2015, around 11:30 AM, French Muslim brother terrorists Saïd and Chérif Kouachi entered the editorial offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris where they murdered 12 employees and injured 11 over a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed. Several related attacks followed in Paris on January 7–9, 2015, including in the Hypercacher kosher supermarket, where a terrorist murdered four Jewish people.

Prophet Mohammed on Jan. 14, 2015 edition cover of Charles Hebdo..

Then, on September 25, 2020, two people were stabbed outside the former headquarters of the magazine, after it had republished the same Mohammed cartoon.

Muslims without a sense of humor, don’t get me started.

On Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned the publication of the cartoon with the Ayatollah being subject to unspeakable humiliation and protested in the strongest terms Charlie Hebdo recently announced a competition for the best caricatures of the Iranian supreme leader.

French satirists who are fearless to a fault, another difficult topic.

“Charlie Hebdo’s insult reveals once again that Zionism has taken advantage of media to promote anti-Islamic sentiments and foment hate and division among societies and people,” the Foreign Ministry stated, accusing the magazine of employing freedom of expression as a cover for “carrying out anti-cultural activities, insulting human beings, and offending human dignity and religious values.”

The Iranian Foreign Office also deplored French officials who didn’t take any steps to curb the magazine’s anti-Islamic bias and its “racist hate actions.” It warned the French that “Iran will not tolerate a muted response to such an anti-cultural and anti-human move by the French magazine, will reconsider its cultural interaction with France and will shut down the French Institute for Research in Iran.”

And then, only a few hours later, on Thursday, Iran’s foreign ministry announced the Tehran-based French research institute was being closed, “as a first step.”

The Institut Français de Recherche en Iran is part of the cultural wing of the French embassy. Its archaeologists have the exclusive rights to dig in Susa, identified as Shushan, which is mentioned in the Book of Esther. IFRI had been closed for many years and reopened in 2013 by President Hassan Rouhani as a gesture of warming bilateral relations between Iran and France.


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