Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has blamed the US and Israel for the production of an anti-Islam movie that insults Prophet Mohammad.
In a message issued on Thursday, Khamenei said that "behind this evil move lie the antagonistic policies of the Zionists and the US and other heads of the global arrogance", reported Press TV.
"The prime suspects in this crime are Zionism and the US government, " said Khamenei.
"If the US politicians are honest in their claim of not being involved (in the production of this film), (they) must bring the perpetrators of this hideous crime and their financial backers, who have wrenched the hearts of Muslim nations, to face a punishment proportionate to this great crime," he added.
Hundreds of Iranians protested Thursday against the movie. The protesters, carrying placards against the film and shouting anti-US and anti-Israel slogans, gathered in front of the Swiss embassy in Tehran which represents the US interests in Iran.
The controversial movie has also ignited violent protests in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia and Iran.