Iranian FM urges respect for sanctities

Zarif-Iran

Iran’s foreign minister has stressed the need for respecting sanctities of all religions and cultures, saying that such respect makes it easier to have respectful relations.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday highlighted the necessity for respect for sanctities of all religions and cultures after a French magazine republished a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

“We believe that sanctities need to be respected,” Zarif told reporters minutes before a meeting with his US counterpart in the Swiss city of Geneva on Wednesday.

He made the comments when asked about the most recent controversial move by satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo that printed a cartoon on its cover depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

“Unless we learn to respect one another, it will be very difficult in a world of different views and different cultures and civilizations, we won’t be able to engage in a serious dialogue if we start disrespecting each other’s values and sanctities,” Zarif added.

Respecting such “sanctities” makes it easier to have respectful relations, he explained.

The French magazine has repeatedly aroused Muslim ire by publishing cartoons mocking the holy Prophet Muhammad.

Known for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as critical depictions of other religions and French politicians, the magazine regularly stirred controversy.

The Wednesday’s edition of Charlie Hebdo, which sold some three million copies, shows a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad holding a “Je suis Charlie”(“I am Charlie”) sign, a slogan widely used following the January 7 attack on the magazine.

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