TEHRAN -- Iran’s parliament speaker said Sunday the sacrilegious move by a French publication against the Islamic Republic’s top religious authority is the result of the West’s desperation and indicates the Western fury at the failure of the recent foreign-backed riots in the country.
Muhammad Baqer Qalibaf made the remark in an address at the onset of a plenary session in the Iranian legislature, following the French weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo’s move to publish several insulting cartoons in a special issue earlier in this week.
“The insult of the French publication to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution is the result of the lack of logic and a sign of the Western front’s anger over the failure of the project of recent riots in the country,” Qalibaf said.
Stressing that the Islamic Revolution’s enemies used all their political, economic, international, media and security capacities to target the country’s leadership, the Iranian Parliament speaker said, “The noble people of Iran, despite all shortcomings and grievances about the economic conditions… safeguarded the Islamic Republic and foiled the plots of their country’s enemies.”
Qalibaf said, “Now that they have failed in this project, they resorted to defamation out of desperation, but it is clear that such measures will bolster the Iranian people’s resolve to move towards the country’s independence and progress.”
“It is necessary for the Iranian Foreign Ministry to implement countermeasures against the French government adamantly so
that everyone understands that they are not allowed to insult the national symbols and beliefs of the Iranian people.”
The contemptuous move by the right-wing notorious magazine came after the publication had in early December announced a competition for producing the cartoons.
Iran’s foreign ministry on Wednesday summoned the French Ambassador in Tehran Nicolas Roche to protest the insulting act by the French magazine in publishing caricatures of the country’s top religious authority, warning of a “decisive” response.
Iran’s foreign ministry said France has no right whatsoever to insult any religion and its followers under pretext of “free speech,” calling on European country’s authorities to observe the basic principle of international rules.
“Given its dismal historical record of colonialism, violation of human rights, and freedom of expression both at home and abroad, France has no right to justify its brazen insult to the sanctities of other countries, nations, and followers of divine religions under the pretext of freedom of speech,” ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani wrote in a post published on his Twitter page.
“What the incumbent French statesmen must abide by is the observation of the basic and fundamental principles in international relations, namely mutual respect, non-interference in others’ internal affairs, and respect for the national and religious values and sanctities of others.”
On Thursday, the Iranian foreign ministry decided to shut down a Tehran-based French archaeological and historical institute in protest against the insult.
Qalibaf also expressed condolences over the 2020 accidental downing of a Ukrainian passenger airplane near Tehran and called for pursuing the lawsuits filed by the families of the victims of the tragic incident.
“The tragedy of the doleful crash of the Ukrainian passenger plane and the death of a group of our dear compatriots, who were generally among the elite and future-making youths of the country, continues to weigh heavily on us and the honorable people of Iran,” the Iranian Parliament speaker said.
Offering heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims for the loss of their loved ones, Qalibaf voiced hopes for the settlement of the lawsuit in a proper manner.
“It is hoped that with the completion of the process of judicial follow-up of this incident, which is ongoing based on the orders of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, the lawsuit will be settled within the framework of the law and in an appropriate manner,” he said.
On January 8, 2020, the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, en route to Kiev and transporting mostly Iranians, crashed minutes after takeoff near the Iranian capital, killing all the 176 on board.
The plane was shot down by Iran’s air defenses, which mistook the aircraft for a military target amid tensions between Tehran and Washington following the U.S. assassination of General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq days earlier.
In November 2021, an Iranian military court started the first hearing session over the plane crash incident in the presence of the defendants, the suspects, the families of the victims, and their lawyers.
Tehran has promised that all those culpable in the incident would face justice and allocated 200 million Euros for compensation to the victims’ families.