Nearly 600 Iranian university and seminary students staged a rally in front of the French embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran, in protest of a French magazine’s publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Thursday.
Dozens of police deployed outside the embassy complex prevented the angry crowd from approaching the compound. After saying their mid-day prayers outside the French mission, the protesters chanted “Death to France” as well slogans against the US and Israel while torching the flags of the arch-foes.
AFP quoted diplomats there as saying the embassy was closed as a precaution. The protesters ended the demonstration with a statement demanding world Muslims to boycott American, British and French goods.
The French foreign ministry ordered embassies, consulates, cultural centers and schools in around 20 Muslim countries to close on Friday in fear of possible protests and tensions that may follow Muslim weekly prayers.
Ayatollah Hosein Nuri-Hamadani (born in 1926), an Iranian Twelver Shi’a Marja and hardline cleric close to the government, said the French embassy should be closed and its ambassador fired.
There were similar protests held last week in front of the Swiss embassy in Tehran over the US-made anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims”. Switzerland represents the American interests in the country in the absence of direct bilateral ties between the Islamic republic and the US.