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Iran Condemns Muhammad Film, Says U.S. Must Prevent Hatred

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast condemned a film about the Prophet Muhammad, which has sparked protests in Libya and Egypt, and said the U.S. must seek to stop the spread of hatred against Islam.

Iran “strongly condemns insults to sacred Muslim figures and empathizes with the hurt feelings of the Muslim world,” Mehmanparast said, according to the state-run Mehr news agency.

Mehmanparast criticized “the systematic silence of the U.S. government in regards to such undertakings aimed at waging a war against Islam,” and said that the U.S. “has a direct moral responsibility to stop this dangerous spread of cultural hatred and insults of sacred figures of Islam.”

The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other personnel were killed in an attack on the consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi amid protests in the north African country and neighboring Egypt over the film “The Innocence of Islam.” The Associated Press said the movie was made by an Israeli living in California, and promoted by an Egyptian Christian also based in the U.S. A clip was shown on YouTube.

The violence recalls the worldwide protests in 2005 after a Danish newspaper published cartoons depicting Muhammad and follows the revival of Islamist politics in both countries after uprisings last year ousted longtime leaders.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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