Iran General NewsDanish lawmakers cancel trip to Iran over cartoon

Danish lawmakers cancel trip to Iran over cartoon

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Reuters: Ten Danish lawmakers on Saturday cancelled a trip to Iran two days before their planned departure as diplomatic discord mounted after Danish newspapers this week reprinted a drawing of the Prophet Mohammad. COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Ten Danish lawmakers on Saturday cancelled a trip to Iran two days before their planned departure as diplomatic discord mounted after Danish newspapers this week reprinted a drawing of the Prophet Mohammad.

The Danish Foreign Ministry said the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee aborted the trip after the Iranian parliament demanded an apology because Danish newspapers reprinted the cartoon of the Prophet that caused outrage in Islamic countries two years ago.

Most Muslims consider depictions of the Prophet Mohammad offensive.

“The Iranian parliament had demanded an apology of the Danish parliamentary delegation, which they of course cannot accommodate,” Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller said in a statement.

Police arrested two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan descent on Tuesday, accusing them of planning to kill a cartoonist who drew one of the images.

Fifteen Danish newspapers reprinted his drawing on Wednesday in protest against the alleged plot.

Dozens of Islamist students burned the Danish flag in southern Pakistan on Thursday, while in Kuwait, several parliamentarians called for a boycott of Danish goods.

Publication of the cartoons two years ago led to protests and rioting in Muslim countries around the world. At least 50 people were killed and three Danish embassies attacked.

Moller said the committee could not apologize for the fact that Danish media carried out its obligation to inform as it could not apologize for freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by the Danish constitution.

“The pivotal point is that Danish authorities have acted to ward off the attempt to murder a Danish citizen. And in that connection the Danish newspapers have reprinted the drawings as information to the public,” he said.

Ten members of the committee had scheduled a four-day trip to Iran starting February 18.

(Reporting by Kim McLaughlin, editing by Mary Gabriel)

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