Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has strongly denounced a terrorist attack in the French city of Nice, but at the same time warned about “ugly provocations” that breed more radicalism.
The French city of Nice became the scene of a deadly knife attack on Thursday, in which three people, including a woman, were killed. Paris has described the incident as an “Islamic terrorist attack”.
“We strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack in Nice,” Zarif said in a Thursday night post on his Twitter account.
“This escalating vicious cycle — hate speech, provocations and violence — must be replaced by reason and sanity,” the Iranian top diplomat said.
“We should recognize that radicalism only breeds more radicalism, and peace cannot be achieved with ugly provocations,” he added.
Zarif was apparently referring to the recent provocative anti-Islam comments by French President Emmanuel Macron, which has outraged Muslim people across the world.
Last Wednesday, Macron supported a French teacher’s displaying of cartoons insulting Prophet Muhammad in his class. “France will never renounce caricatures,” Macron declared, defending the teacher for “promoting freedom.”
The teacher, Samuel Paty, was murdered by an 18-year-old Chechen assailant. Commenting on the attack, Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide, trying to suggest that the assailant had been motivated to kill the teacher by the faith rather than radicalism.
Macron insisted on his position again on Sunday by tweeting, “We will not give in, ever.” The Leader called the French statesman’s insolence a “stupid act” that served to affront the reason of the very people, who have voted him to power.