Iran's Supreme Leader Defends Violence at Danish Embassy
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given his blessing to violent demonstrations targeting Denmark's embassy in Tehran, defining them on Tuesday as "justified and even holy." Hundreds of people protesting against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed hurled stones and petrol bombs at the embassy building. The protest followed as similar assault on Monday.
In a televised address, Khamenei, who is considered the Islamic Republic's spiritual leader said the protests were "not directed against the world's Christians, but against the diabolical hands involved in this diabolical issue."
Khamenei blamed a "Zionist conspiracy" for the crisis claiming the aim was to "provoke tensions between Musliims and Christians." READ MORE
"How come is freedom of expression not respected when denials or even just doubts are expressed on the Holocaust?," he said referring to the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis.
"But freedom of expression is strongly defended by European leaders when it involves insults against the world's 1.5 billion Muslims," he added.
Denmark says it holds the Iranian authorities responsible after the attacks against its Tehran embassy.
The attacks came as Iran said it was cutting all trade ties with Denmark.
A series of cartoons depicting the Prohet Mohammed published in a Danish daily in September has triggered protests throughout the Islamic world which in recent days have led to at least five deaths in Afghanistan and one in Somalia.
Islamic tradition explicitly prohibits images of Allah and the Prophet Mohammed.