Danish MPs refuse cartoon apology
( BBC ) - Danish MPs have cancelled a trip to Iran after Tehran demanded they apologise for the republication of cartoons deemed offensive to Islam.
Two days before the scheduled trip, Tehran demanded the MPs condemn the cartoon on their arrival in Iran.
The row follows the arrest on Tuesday of three men for allegedly planning to murder Danish cartoonist Ko Vestigal.
The following day, 11 Danish papers reprinted his drawing depicting the Prophet with a bomb in his turban.
A condemnation and apology would help convince the Iranian people that Denmark's authorities had distanced themselves from the action, Iran's parliament said in a letter to Danish MPs.
Nine members of Denmark's foreign affairs committee were due to arrive in Iran on Monday for a three-day trip focusing on human rights and the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme.
"We are not the ones to apologise," said Villy Soevndal, the leader of Denmark's Socialist People's Party.
"If anyone needs to apologise for freedom of speech, human rights, imprisonments, executions and lack of democracy, it is the Iranians."
Denmark's foreign minister has backed the parliamentarians' decision not to travel.