Iranians hurl petrol bombs at Austrian embassy

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Iranians hurl petrol bombs at Austrian embassy

Postby Chris » Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:40 pm

Iranians hurl petrol bombs at Austrian embassy
Mon Feb 6, 2006 12:47 PM ET

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By Raheb Homavandi and Saeed Komeijani
TEHRAN (Reuters) - A crowd of about 200 people pelted the Austrian Embassy in Tehran with petrol bombs and stones on Monday to protest against the publication of satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in European newspapers.

The protesters, chanting "God is Greatest" and "Europe, Europe, shame on you", smashed all the diplomatic mission's windows with stones and then tried to hurl petrol bombs inside.

Austria currently holds the presidency of the European Union. Protesters also waved placards and shouted slogans against the EU's stance on Iran's nuclear program.

The bombs exploded in flames against metal grilles guarding the windows. But the building did not catch fire and the flames were quickly put out by police with fire extinguishers.

Iran has withdrawn its ambassador to Denmark and Iranian Commerce Minister Massoud Mirkazemi said on Monday that all trade with Denmark had been severed because of the cartoons, first published in September in a Danish newspaper.

"All trade ties with Denmark were cut," he was quoted by the Iranian student news agency ISNA as telling a news conference.

Mirkazemi said from Tuesday Iran would stop any Danish goods from entering its customs' areas. Iran imports some $280 million worth of goods a year from Denmark.

Trade ties were under review with all countries where the cartoons were published, he said. Islam prohibits any depiction of the Prophet Mohammad.

Further demonstrations were planned for later on Monday outside the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Tehran.

Danish diplomatic missions in Syria and Lebanon were set ablaze and ransacked over the weekend because of the cartoons.

The Austrian Foreign Ministry said the Austrian cultural center building was also damaged but no injuries resulted. Continued ... ... xml&rpc=22
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