Iranian leader blames magazine’s Muhammad cartoons on ‘U.S. and Zionists’

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says French magazine committed “unforgivable sin” of insulting the prophet Muhammad.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei Tuesday condemned the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for publishing a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad, saying the publishers committed the “unforgivable sin of insulting the Great Prophet of Islam.”

Khamenei said French politicians’ failure to condemn the “crime,” excusing it instead as freedom of expression, had “laid bare the devilish hostility and grudge that Western political and cultural organizations hold against Islam and the Muslim community,” the state-controlled Tasnim news agency reported.

The Iranian leader then laid the blame for the cartoon on Israel and the United States, saying they were responsible for the French magazine’s satirical portrayals of the prophet.

“The deeply anti-Islamic policies of Zionists and the arrogant governments are the reason for such hostile moves,” Khamenei said, explaining that the cartoon was “aimed at distracting the attention of West Asian nations and governments from the ominous plots that the US and the Zionist regime have hatched against the region.”

In 2006 the magazine published a satirical depiction of the prophet Muhammad on one of its cover, prompting condemnation from many Islamic leaders over the religious prohibition on depicting his image. More cartoons were published in 2012 and magazine staff members were then added to the death list of the Al Qaeda terror group.

In January 2015 two armed Islamic terrorists entered the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris and murdered 11 employees in a hail of gunfire and then shot and killed a Muslim French police officer during their escape.

Two days later as police surrounded the two in Paris, another Islamic terrorist took hostages at the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in the city and murdered four Jewish people in the store.

Police killed all three of the terrorists.

Last week Charlie Hebdo republished the “Mohammed Cartoons” one day before the opening of the trial for 14 defendants charged for being involved in the two terrorist attacks that killed a total of 17 people including the  their fellow journalists and cartoonists.

François Molins, then public prosecutor of Paris, recalled his arrival at the Charlie Hebdo office. He found “the smell of blood and gunpowder. In the newsroom, it is carnage. It is more than a crime scene, it is a war scene, with a frightening tangle of bodies.”