Student groups have announced plans to hold a demonstration outside the French embassy in Tehran on Wednesday, October 28, in protest at comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron following the killing of a teacher near Paris in an alleged Islamist attack. Hundreds of students are expected to gather near the embassy on Neauphle-Le-Chateau Street from 15:30 (local time) on Wednesday for the protest. There have also been calls on social media for similar demonstrations in Mazandaran, Yasouj, and Hamedan, although it is currently unclear how well attended these gatherings will be.
Localized disruptions are likely around the French embassy on Wednesday, with an increased security presence also likely in the area. There is a realistic possibility of further anti-French protests in the country in the near term.
Teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded in an attack by an alleged Islamist extremist in the northern Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on October 16 after showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a civics class. The attack prompted the arrest of a number of people linked to the attacker and comments from President Macron about religious rights and freedom of expression in French society. However, the government's response was seen by some communities as Islamophobic and has prompted a number of protests and calls for boycotts of French goods in some Muslim-majority countries.
Those in Tehran are advised to monitor developments and avoid the area around the French embassy on Wednesday due to the likely disruptions and risk of crowd disturbances. Travelers should avoid all protests and political gatherings in Iran and heed any directives issued by local authorities.
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