Demo at French embassy in Tehran after prophet cartoons

TEHRAN - Up to 100 people protested in front of France's embassy in Tehran on Thursday over a French satirical weekly's publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, an AFP correspondent said.

The protesters chanted "Death to France," as well as Iran's arch-foes Israel and the United States, as dozens of police deployed around the embassy compound in central Tehran prevented the crowd from approaching.

According to diplomats at the embassy, the foreign ministry told them the demonstration by "students" had no official authorisation, although such gatherings in Iran can not take place without a tacit nod from the authorities.

The embassy was closed as a precaution, they told AFP. French embassies, consulates, cultural centres and schools in around 20 Muslim countries will be closed on foreign ministry orders on Friday for fear of violence following Muslim weekly prayers.

The decision by the weekly Charlie Hebdo to print cartoons mocking the prophet on Wednesday came as fresh protests erupted in the Muslim world over an anti-Islam low budget film made in the United States.

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