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Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Iranian MPs want action on Dutch, Danes over cartoon
TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iranian lawmakers have urged the president to review ties with Denmark and the Netherlands over the reprinting of a satirical cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad (S) in Danish and Dutch newspapers, Iranian media said on Monday.
Protests and rioting erupted in 2006 in Muslim countries around the world when the cartoons first appeared in a Danish daily. At least 50 people were killed and three Danish embassies attacked.
Muslims consider depictions of the Prophet Muhammad (S) offensive.
Danish newspapers reprinted one of the drawings last week in protest against what they said was a plot to murder the cartoonist who drew it. At least two Dutch newspapers published pictures of the Danish newspapers, with the cartoon visible.
In a letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, some 215 MPs in Iran’s 290-seat assembly said Iran should review trade and political links with Denmark and the Netherlands to respond to “an anti-Islamic and Islamophobic current” in the two countries.
“We, representatives of the honorable Iranian nation, condemn this devil measure. We ask the president ... to seriously review Iran’s political and trade ties with these countries,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter, state radio said.
Iran has also urged the Netherlands to prevent the screening of a film in which a right-wing populist lawmaker plans to lay out his view of Islam’s holy book, the Koran. Comments by the Dutch MP about the Koran were condemned by Iran last year.
Dozens of Islamist students burned the Danish flag in southern Pakistan on Thursday, while in Kuwait, several parliamentarians called for a boycott of Danish goods.
On Saturday, two days before their planned departure, 10 Danish lawmakers aborted a trip to Iran. The Danish Foreign Ministry said the scheduled visit was cancelled after Iran’s parliament demanded an apology over the cartoon.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has also summoned the Danish envoy in Tehran to protest.