Iran's VP denies Teheran fanning cartoon protests

An Iranian vice president on Thursday denied claims by the US government that Tehran was inflaming Muslim anger over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that have been published in newspapers around the world. "That is 100 percent a lie," said Isfandiar Rahim Mashaee, one of several Iranian vice presidents. "It is without attribution." Mashaee was commenting on remarks by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice claiming that Iran and Syria had whipped up Muslim anger over the cartoons for "their own purposes." Mashaee was in Indonesia in his capacity as president of Iran's tourism and cultural board, and he spoke to reporters after meeting with Vice President Yusuf Kalla.