Cartoon protests could spin out of control if encouraged: Rice
US Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice has said that the protests could "spin out of control" if governments refuse to act responsibly.india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 09:46 IST
Continuing her criticism against Iran and Syria for their alleged involvement in inciting violence over cartoon issue, US Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice has said that the protests could "spin out of control" if governments refuse to act responsibly.
"There are people who genuinely were offended by the cartoons and many people found them offensive. I found them offensive. But obviously there's also a press freedom involved here, a lot of press responsibility involved", Rice said on CBS News Sunday Talk Show on Sunday.
"Now, that said, whatever your views of this, the violence and going into the streets and burning embassies and killing innocent people is totally unacceptable and there are leaders in the Muslim world who have spoken out against that, like the Grand Ayatollah Sistani in Iraq", Rice pointed out.
Rice said the Iranian response was "different" and they said "well, all right, we'll just print anti-Holocaust or we'll print Holocaust cartoons that are offensive to Jewish people, to stir up and to continue..."In another interview to ABC News, Rice rejected the idea that people can just get out into the streets of Iran and Syria and protest "spontaneously" adding that the two governments "have very good control of these things".
But she refused to join issue with the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who said that he had not seen any direct evidence of either Damascus or Teheran behind the violence.
"I think we both have the same view, which is that governments need to tamp down, not stir up. I would just remind people that when a government says our response ought to be to tell our newspapers to print anti -- to print Holocaust cartoons, that's not tamping down the situation. That's incitement," Rice said.