The U.S. has condemned the burning of the Quran and an image of the Prophet Mohammad by Terry Jones, an American pastor in Florida.
U.S. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a press conference on April 30: “We find such action deplorable. We find it disrespectful. I, frankly, don’t want to give this issue or that individual any more airtime here.”
She added, however: “This is the act of one individual and in no way reflects the values of the American people or of the U.S. government.”
The Iranian Foreign Minister issued a statement two days ago, condemning the pastor’s actions and demanding that the U.S. government take “clear and effective” action to prevent it from ever happening again.
Last Saturday, Jones set fire to the Quran at his church in Florida in front of about 20 people, as the event was streamed live over the internet.
Jones said his actions were in protest against the imprisonment of the Iranian Christian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani.
A convert to Christianity at the age of 19, Nadarkhani is charged with “abandoning his religion”, “inviting Muslims to convert to Christianity”, “establishing a secret church in his home” and “open opposition to Islam.”
He had been sentenced to death; however, the Supreme Court has announced that his sentence has been annulled.