French satire publication Charlie Hebdo released dozens of cartoons mocking Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as part of a contest supporting ongoing anti-government protests in the country, prompting Iran to summon French ambassador Nicolas Roche, The Guardian reported on Wednesday night.
The contest asked readers to submit the most offensive drawings of Khamenei, according to the report.
Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian warned that Iran would respond to the publication of the cartoons.
"The insulting and indecent act of a French publication in publishing cartoons against the religious and political authority will not go without a decisive and effective response."Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian
"The insulting and indecent act of a French publication in publishing cartoons against the religious and political authority will not go without a decisive and effective response," he tweeted. "We will not allow the French government to go beyond its bounds. They have definitely chosen the wrong path. Earlier, we included this publication in the sanctions list."
اقدام توهین آمیز و خارج از نزاکت نشریه ای فرانسوی در انتشار کاریکاتور علیه مرجعیت دینی و سیاسی بدون پاسخ قاطع و موثر نخواهد بود. به دولت فرانسه اجازه نمیدهیم پا را از گلیم خود فراتر گذارد.آنها قطعا مسیر اشتباهی را انتخاب کرده اند. پیشتر این نشریه را در فهرست تحریمها قرار دادیم.— H.Amirabdollahian امیرعبداللهیان (@Amirabdolahian) January 4, 2023
Charlie Hebdo said that the contest was held "to support the struggle of Iranians who are fighting for their freedom," referring to the protests, which began after 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died while in the custody of "morality police" after her arrest for allegedly violating Iran's strict dress code for women, according to CBS News.
2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo office
The cartoons of Khamenei were published in a special edition marking the anniversary of a terror attack on the magazine's office in Paris that killed 12 people on January 7, 2015, the CBS report added.
Reuters reported in September that two men who had been found guilty of providing support to the Charlie Hebdo attackers, Ali Riza Polat and Amar Ramdani, appealed their convictions.
Reuters contributed to this report.