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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 10:23 GMT
Australian in Iran cartoon 'hoax'
An Iranian woman reads the Hamshahri newspaper
The Hamshahri has promised to announce the competition's results
One of Australia's top cartoonists has said his drawings were illegally entered in a cartoon competition in an Iranian newspaper about the Holocaust.

Michael Leunig said two of his cartoons were published in the Hamshahri daily with a forged comment expressing solidarity with the Muslim world.

He said the cartoons had been withdrawn after he contacted the newspaper.

Iran's competition was launched in response to the publication in Europe of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

The Hamshahri has said it wants to test the boundaries of free speech for Westerners.

The Muhammad cartoons, first published by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Denmark, have caused angry protests across the Muslim world.

'Set up'

"This is a fraud and hoax emanating, we believe, from Australia," Mr Leunig told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

A reply came back, they were sorry, they remove the cartoon instantly without a qualm and with an apology
Michael Leunig

He said quotes on the Hamshahri website that accompanied his two drawings were "not my words".

"I've been set up horribly, maliciously, and to me it denotes what it means to stand up against this conflict and this warlike sort of state the world is in."

The two Leunig cartoons were rejected for publication by Australia's newspaper, The Age, in 2002.

The first drawing shows a poor man with a Star of David on his back walking towards the Nazi Auschwitz death camp in 1942 with the words "Work brings freedom" over the entrance.

On the second, the same man is shown approaching a similar looking gate with a rifle in Israel in 2002 with the words "War brings peace".

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