Iran to pay damages for cartoon violence

Teheran agrees to Danish demands for compensation over embassy attack.

jp.services1 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Iran has agreed to compensate Denmark for damage done to the Danish Embassy in Teheran during fiery protests last year and both sides were still working out the amount to be paid, the Danish foreign minister said Wednesday. An angry mob protesting Danish newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad attacked the embassy with rocks and firebombs in February 2006. Similar attacks occurred in Lebanon and Syria, and Denmark has requested a total of 3.4 million kroner (€456,000; US$618,000) in compensation from the three countries. After a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Wednesday, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said the Iranians had partially agreed to the Danish demands. "It's the obligation of the Iranian government to protect the embassies according to the Vienna Convention and it's good that the Iranian government accepts this," Moeller told reporters in Copenhagen. "Now it's a question of figures and I hope we find a good result for all of us," he said. Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was less committal, however, saying at a joint news conference that "those who have been the cause of such problems" should pay. But he added that "we have to manage and find solutions" to the issue. Lebanon has agreed to pay 700,000 kroner (€94,000; US$127,000) - about 60 percent of the sum Denmark asked for - but Iran and Syria had so far refused. The 12 cartoons first published in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and reprinted in a range of Western media triggered massive protests in the Muslim world, where the drawings were seen as blasphemous. Moeller said negotiations with Iran on the amount of compensation would continue. "There is a far distance between us," he said.