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Cartoon row: Iran rejects Rice's accusations

Iran has also demanded an apology from Rice, saying that it could reduce growing tension.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 09:25 IST

The Iranian government rejected an accusation by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that it has fanned violent protests over caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

Iran has also demanded an apology from Rice, saying that it could reduce growing tension.

Rice, meanwhile, said Iran and Syria should be urging their citizens to remain calm - not encouraging violence like last week's attacks on Western diplomatic missions in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut, Lebanon. Nearly a dozen people also were killed in protests in Afghanistan.

"If people continue to incite it, it could spin out of control," she said on Sunday on ABC's This Week as furore mounted over the cartoons of Islam's most revered figure that first appeared in a Danish newspaper four months ago.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Sunday an apology from Rice and Denmark could help.

"What happened was a natural reaction," Asefi said, adding, "An apology could alleviate the tension.

First Published: Feb 13, 2006 09:25 IST