Tehran, September 4: Iran's Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned the republication by French magazine Charlie Hebdo of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and referred it as 'provocation'. The cartoon was republished by Charlie Hebdo to mark the opening of the trial in a 2015 attack on its offices by Islamist extremists, reports news agency AFP.

Issuing the official statement, the Foreign Ministry of Iran, said, as quoted by AFP, "The offensive act of the French publication … is a provocation." Adding more, the statement said, "Any insult or disrespect towards the holy prophet of Islam … or the other prophets of God (Jewish and Christian figures also recognized by Muslims) … is absolutely unacceptable." Iran, Turkey Lash Out at UAE Over Agreement With Israel, Accuse Emirati Govt of Betraying Palestine.

Iran, however, called that the freedom of expression should be to be used in a constructive manner to forge 'greater understanding between religions'. It is to be known that Iran had condemned the deadly attack on the paper's offices, despite its outrage at the cartoons.

During the deadly attack on January 7, 2015, twelve people -- including some of France's most celebrated cartoonists -- were killed. On Wednesday, 14 alleged accomplices in the attacks -- who targeted a Jewish supermarket -- were tried in Paris. The 14 suspects are accused of helping the two Islamist attackers who shot dead 12 people, including the magazine's editor at the time Stephane Charbonnier, in and around the office on January 7, 2015.

As per reports, there are about 200 plaintiffs in the trial and survivors of the attacks are expected to testify in the trial expected to continue until November 2019. Earlier on March 2020, the presiding judge said France's lockdown measures had made it impossible to bring together "all the parties, witnesses and experts under the necessary sanitary conditions".

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 04, 2020 06:56 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).