Anti-France protests spread to Iran

Anti-France protests spread to Iran
Photo: Nick Taylor
Up to 200 people protested without incident in front of France's embassy in Tehran on Thursday over a French satirical weekly's publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, an AFP correspondent reported.

The protesters chanted "Death to France," as well as Iran's arch-foes Israel and the United States, as dozens of police deployed around the embassy compound in central Tehran prevented the crowd from approaching.

They dispersed without incident after two hours at the request of the police, however they burnt American and Israeli flags before leaving.

According to diplomats at the embassy, the foreign ministry told them the demonstration by "students" had no official authorisation, although such gatherings in Iran can not take place without a tacit nod from the authorities.

The embassy was closed as a precaution, the diplomats told AFP.

French embassies, consulates, cultural centres and schools in around 20 Muslim countries will be closed on foreign ministry orders on Friday for fear of violence following Muslim weekly prayers.

The decision by the weekly Charlie Hebdo to print cartoons mocking the Prophet on Wednesday came as fresh protests erupted around the Muslim world over an anti-Islam low budget film made in the United States.

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