Mourning, drawing and bashing: Iranians react to Paris terror attacks

Mourning, drawing and bashing: Iranians react to Paris terror attacks

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 14

By Farhad Daneshvar - Trend:

Since the first wave of news on the Nov. 13-14 terror attacks in Paris, Iranians in social media have been putting out their own takes on the tragedy.

Iranian social media users have expressed regrets over the attacks.

Four gunmen systematically slaughtered at least 87 young people attending a rock concert at the Bataclan music hall in Paris. Some 40 more people were killed in five other attacks in the Paris region, including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the national stadium, where the French president Hollande and the German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier were watching a friendly soccer international. Some 200 people were injured.

In particular, Iranian cartoonist Hadi Heidari presented his work "Paris Cried", expressing his sadness over what happened.

Further, many Iranian Facebook users have reacted to what happened. One user posted a translated version of a poem by Iran's 13th century outstanding poet Saadi Shirazi calling for unity and kindness among people.

There were many other users, who changed their photos on their social media profiles, expressing solidarity with the victims of the Paris terror attacks.

French official statistics released in 2000 suggested about 19,000 Iranians live in France however unconfirmed reports estimated that about 300,000 of Iranians mostly students lived in France in 2010.

Meanwhile, there were also users, who went into the opposite direction, criticizing Saudi Arabia and the West, including the French government, for the "wrong policies" towards the extremist groups in the Middle East.

"I request France and all Westerners alongside with Saudi Arabia and Qatar to provide jihadist groups with more weapon and fund then with the God willing we will hear the stronger sound of the real Islam in Paris," one Facebook user wrote, mocking the mentioned countries for "backing and funding" the extremist groups.

Another user wrote that "...the West itself had a role in forming the Islamic radicalism...," arguing that extremism is an outcome of West's economic policies.

An Iranian political activist living abroad wrote that "tragedy of killings in Paris is alarming, as the world is not moving on the right path."

Several users have also called for expressing sympathy with the victims of the recent Beirut terrorist attack, where dozens of civilians were killed in a Hezbollah-dominated area.

If they light candles for dead in the Paris incidents, it would be a good idea to do the same for those who were killed in Beirut's Shia residence in Burj al-Barajneh and Dadih, one Twitter user wrote.

Following the deadly attacks, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani offered his condolences to the French counterpart Francois Hollande and canceled his today's visit to Italy and France which was supposed to be his first Europe trip as Iranian president since he assumed office in 2013.

Iranian Foreign Minister also condemned the attacks, underlining that fighting terrorism and extremism needs international cooperation.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif left Tehran for Vienna to attend a new round of Syrian peace talks Nov. 14.

It appears Zarif decided to attend the talks following the attacks in Paris. Some 17 countries, including President Bashar al-Assad's key allies and opponents, are set to open a new round of peace talks on Nov. 14, in a bid to end the Syrian crisis.

Zarif had earlier said that identifying the terrorist groups operating in Syria would be on the agenda of the meeting. The first round of talks, held in Vienna on Oct. 30, failed to reach agreement on Assad's future, as Tehran expressed support for President Assad's government, while rival Saudi Arabia demanded Assad leave the country.


Farhad Daneshvar is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @farhad_danesh

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