Iran hosts anti-Israel cartoon contest

An Iranian man looks at an anti-Nazi cartoon showing late German dictator Hilter at the second international exhibition of drawing and cartoons on the Holocaust in Tehran on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 14 May 2016
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Iran hosts anti-Israel cartoon contest

TEHRAN: A contest of anti-Israeli cartoons opened Saturday in the Iranian capital, with many entries deriding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government’s Middle East policies.
The exhibition, totaling 150 entries from 50 countries, was launched on the eve of the Palestinian commemoration of “nakba,” which means catastrophe in Arabic, marking the 1948 creation of Israel.
The Iranian government has distanced itself from the contest, which Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said was organized by a non-governmental organization without any support from the authorities.
Several cartoons on display poke fun at Netanyahu, with one depicting the Israeli prime minister as a member of Daesh and holding a sabre in his hand.
Another shows a map of the Middle East with a coffin bearing the word “Holocaust” flattening Palestinians in place of what should be the country of Israel.
“We are not seeking to confirm or deny the Holocaust,” said organizer Massoud Shojaie Tabatabaie, himself a cartoonist.
He said the exhibition was a rebuttal to the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which was attacked last year.
The best cartoon will be awarded $12,000, said Tabatabaie. An earlier edition of the exhibition was held in 2006. He said the contest was being organized by a non-government organization “that is not controlled by the Iranian government. Nor is it endorsed by the Iranian government.”
Asked why Iran has allowed the exhibition to go ahead, Zarif said: “Why does the US have the Ku Klux Klan?
“Is the government of the United States responsible for the fact that there are racially hateful organizations in the US? Don’t consider Iran a monolith. The Iranian government does not support, nor does it organize, any cartoon festival of the nature that you’re talking about.”


Iraqi Kurdish security arrest man behind Turkish diplomat shooting in Erbil

Updated 31 min 9 sec ago
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Iraqi Kurdish security arrest man behind Turkish diplomat shooting in Erbil

ERBIL: Iraqi Kurdistan's internal security service has arrested the main culprit behind the deadly shooting of a Turkish diplomat in the regional capital Erbil, it said on Saturday.
"The Kurdistan Region announced on Saturday the arrest of the man who planned the assassination of a Turkish diplomat in a restaurant in Erbil, less than a week after the attack," the Asayish security service said in a statement.