Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has demanded the United States to punish those behind the anti-Islam film if it truly played no role in the making.
According to Ali Khamenei; “If
the American politicians are honest that they had no role, then they
must punish those who committed this heinous crime and their financial
backers in proportion to this great crime,”
Earlier on Thursday, hundreds
of Iranians staged a protest in Tehran over the amateur, American-made
film which ridicules Islam’s Prophet Mohammed.
The crowd chanted “Death to America!” and death to the movie’s director, and an American flag was burnt.
the rally, held near the Swiss embassy that handles US interests in the
absence of US-Iran diplomatic ties, ended peacefully after two hours.
Security forces prevented the crowd from approaching the diplomatic compound.
news agencies said the demonstration was called by the Student Islamic
Society, a hardline university group loyal to Khamenei that has held
anti-Western rallies in the past.
It was one of several protests
in Middle East countries that happened on Thursday, following attacks on
Tuesday on US diplomatic mission in Libya and Egypt by crowds whipped
into a fury by the movie.
In the Libya attack, the US ambassador and three other US officials were killed.
spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast, was quoted
by the official IRNA news agency saying: “The killing of the American
ambassador in Libya in protest over insults against the prophet of Islam
is an example of Muslim hatred against the repulsive policies (of the
United States), which are aligned with Islamophobia.”
film at the centre of the outrage was made in the United States by a
man initially reported by US media to be an American-Israeli who relied
on funding from 100 Jews.But subsequent reporting found that
figure to be fictitious, likely invented by a Coptic Christian living in
California and identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.
The film was
being promoted by a Florida pastor, Terry Jones, known for previous
Koran-burning stunts that angered Muslims in various countries.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday condemned both the film —
saying “to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible” —
and the violence seen in the protests.
She added: “The United
States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We
absolutely reject its content and message.”