Spat cleared up, cartoonist Shojaei granted Serbian visa 

August 21, 2021 - 19:21

TEHRAN – Iranian cartoonist Masud Shojaei-Tabatabai has been granted a Serbian visa after a misunderstanding was resolved.

He was invited to the embassy of the country in Tehran and the misunderstanding was straightened out during a meeting with Ambassador Dragan Todorovic after which a visa was issued immediately, the Persian service of MNA reported on Friday.

Earlier on August 8, Shojaei-Tabatabai said that he had been invited to preside on the jury of the 21st Kragujevac Salon of Antiwar Cartoon in Serbia.

He accused the embassy of the country in Tehran of refusing to give him a visa over his Holocaust denial exhibitions.

He also accused the staff at the entrance to the embassy of misconduct.

According to the negotiations held at the meeting, Shojaei-Tabatabai will collaborate with the Kragujevac Salon of Antiwar Cartoon online due to the pandemic in Iran and the long process of confirming his COVID test, and he will attend the cartoon exhibition in October.

“For me, paying respect for an Iranian is more valuable than anything, and, due to the Holocaust issue and political reasons, I expected such treatment,” Shojaei-Tabatabai said earlier.

Shojaei-Tabatabai has previously organized the International Holocaust Cartoon Contest in two editions in collaboration with the Art Bureau of the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization.

The second edition of the contest took place in 2016 after a ten-year hiatus as he said, “We do not seek to deny the Holocaust but intend to portray the oppression of the Palestinians, and say that we believe the Zionist regime has been the root of all the difficulties the Palestinians have been put through.”

In 2017, he was named the Islamic Revolution Artist of the Year by the Art Bureau for his efforts to organize the International Holocaust Cartoons Contest. 

Following French President Emmanuel Macron’s defense of the insulting cartoons on the Prophet Muhammad (S) in October 2020, Shojaei-Tabatabai announced his plan to organize another edition of the exhibition in response to Macron’s remarks.

As the director of the Art Bureau’s Visual Arts Office, he also organized the Palestine Is Not Alone International Cartoon, Caricature and Poster Contest in April.

“Since we started running international cartoon contests about Palestine and the Holocaust, the Israeli media has stated that we are denying the Holocaust. However, we have never denied it. We simply have asked why the Palestinian people should be made to pay the price for the Holocaust,” he said at that time.

Photo: Iranian cartoonist Masud Shojaei-Tabatabai (R) holds his passport after getting a visa for Serbia from Serbian Ambassador Dragan Todorovic (L) in Tehran.


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