Iran Calls on Netherlands to Stop Anti-Islam Film

A01801491.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s deputy foreign minister on Tuesday called on the Dutch government to stop a far-right politician from distributing an anti-Islam film that has drawn protests in Muslim countries.

“I think they can stop the movie,” Mehdi Safari told reporters after meeting with Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen. “The government is responsible.”

He added, “This film is insulting to the 1.2 billion Muslims in their values and principles.”

The Dutch government has twice tried unsuccessfully to convince far-right deputy Geert Wilders to abandon his plans to distribute his film.

Wilders has announced that he plans to present his 15-minute film which insults Muslims’ holy book, the Koran, later this month. The government has excluded banning it before its release, citing freedom of expression.

But he called off a press conference he had planned at the Nieuwspoort press centre in The Hague because of the estimated security costs of up to 500,000 euros (766,000 dollars).

He told the Dutch agency ANP that he would speak to journalists after he had posted the film on to the Internet.

Wilders is posting it on to a website he had created because television stations have refused to broadcast the film without being able to make cuts.

Safari said the film would have “far-reaching consequences”, while Iran’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Bozorgmehr Ziaran, called Wilders a warmonger.

“Our conclusion is he wants to demonize Muslims,” and encourage their repression and suppression, said Ziaran.

More than 2,000 protesters burned Dutch and Danish flags Sunday in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, the latest of a wave of rallies against Danish cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and the film.

The first printing of the Danish cartoons caused days of protests worldwide in early 2006, including in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt and almost all other Muslim countries.

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