Iran closes French institute after publication of cartoons

The Islamic Republic of Iran announced on Thursday the closure of the French Institute for Research in Iran (IFRI), after the publication by a French newspaper of cartoons deemed insulting to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Iran closes French institute after publication of cartoons

The Islamic Republic of Iran announced on Thursday the closure of the French Institute for Research in Iran (IFRI), after the publication by a French newspaper of cartoons deemed insulting to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

“The ministry is putting an end to the activities of the French Institute for Research in Iran (IFRI) as a first step” in the Iranian response to the cartoons, said a press release from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to its website, IFRI is affiliated with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was born in 1983 after the merger of the French Archaeological Delegation in Iran (DAFI), created in 1897, and the French Institute of Iranology in Tehran (IFIT), founded in 1947 by Henry Corbin.

Iran had warned Paris on Wednesday that it would react after the publication of "insulting" cartoons of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The IFRI, located in the center of Tehran, had been closed for many years. It had reopened under the presidency of the moderate Hassan Rouhani (2013-2021) as a sign of the warming of relations between France and Iran. It includes in particular a rich library, used by students of the French language and Iranian academics.

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