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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran summoned a French diplomat in protest at what it says is France’s support for the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, state media reported on Tuesday, in the latest fallout over France’s response to the beheading of a teacher.

The report by state TV said an Iranian official in the country’s Foreign Ministry told the French diplomat that Paris’ response to the killing was “unwise.

” The Iranian official said it was regrettable that France was permitting hatred against Islam under the guise of support for freedom of expression, state TV reported.

Countries across the Middle East have been outraged by French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks last week in which he refused to condemn the publication or showing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. An 18-year-old of Chechen origin beheaded near Paris on Oct. 16 a teacher who had shown caricatures of Muhammad in class.

France considers religious satire to be among the kinds of speech that fall under the freedom of expression, while many Muslims consider any perceived attack on their prophet as a grave offense.

A powerful association of clerics in the Iranian city of Qom also urged the government late Monday to condemn Macron for his remarks while calling on Islamic nations to impose political and economic sanctions on France. Iranian hard-line newspaper Vatan-e Emrooz depicted Macron as the devil and called him Satan in a cartoon on its front page Tuesday.

In Saudi Arabia, the country’s state-run Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday put out a statement quoting an anonymous Foreign Ministry official saying in an Arabic dispatch that the kingdom “rejects any attempt to link Islam and terrorism, and denounces the offensive cartoons of the prophet.” The agency did not immediately transmit the statement on its English or French services.

Already in the region, Kuwaiti stores pulled French yogurts and bottles of sparkling water from their shelves, Qatar University canceled a French culture week, and calls to stay away from the French-owned Carrefour grocery store chain were trending on social media in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Protests have been held in Iraq, Turkey and the Gaza Strip, and Pakistan’s parliament passed a resolution condemning the publication of cartoons of the prophet.

News Source: newsbrig.com

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John Brennan Frets over ‘Criminal, Reckless Killing of Iran Nuclear Scientist

Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan on Friday lashed out at the killing of the head of Iran’s nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, labeling his death a “criminal act.”

Iran announced that Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Damavand Friday afternoon. Images of the scene show two vehicles, one with extensive fire damage and the other riddled with bullet holes. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared to blame Israel for the nuclear expert’s killing.

“This was a criminal act & highly reckless. It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict,” Brennan wrote of Fakhrizadeh’s death. “Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage & to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits.”

This was a criminal act & highly reckless. It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict.
Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage & to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits. https://t.co/0uZhyBTM3S

— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) November 27, 2020

“I do not know whether a foreign government authorized or carried out the the [sic] murder of Fakhrizadeh,” he continued. “Such an act of state-sponsored terrorism would be a flagrant violation of international law & encourage more governments to carry out lethal attacks against foreign officials.”

“These assassinations are far different than strikes against terrorist leaders & operatives of groups like al-Qaida & Islamic State, which are not sovereign states. As illegitimate combatants under international law, they can be targeted in order to stop deadly terrorist attacks,” he concluded.

These assassinations are far different than strikes against terrorist leaders & operatives of groups like al-Qaida & Islamic State, which are not sovereign states. As illegitimate combatants under international law, they can be targeted in order to stop deadly terrorist attacks.

— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) November 27, 2020

Brennan is an ardent defender of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear agreement, and harshly criticized President Donald Trump for scrapping the deal in 2018.

“Donald Trump simultaneously lied about the Iranian nuclear deal, undermined global confidence in US commitments, alienated our closest allies, strengthened Iranian hawks, & gave North Korea more reason to keep its nukes. This madness is a danger to our national security,” Brennan said after the president announced the U.S.’s removal from the deal.

In January, the U.S. killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport. At the time, the Pentagon said it took out Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”

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