BERLIN, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A German cartoonist has received death threats for a caricature mocking his country's eagerness to use army soldiers to safeguard the upcoming soccer World Cup.
The Tagesspiegel, a Berlin-based newspaper, published a cartoon Friday by caricaturist Klaus Stuttmann that depicted four heavily armed Bundeswehr soldiers facing four Iranian soccer players equipped with explosive belts.
The drawing was meant to criticize German politicians favoring the deployment to safeguard the month-long tournament. Stuttmann employed irony to show that it was not necessary to deploy armed troops, as there are no soccer players that would commit terrorist acts.
However, that did not seem to interest the hundreds of people who protested against equating Iran's soccer team with terrorists. The author has received several threatening emails, including three that contained death threats, according to the Tagesspiegel. He has since moved out of his apartment.
Several protest mails were in English, which suggests that the drawing was distributed via Internet.
The Iranian embassy has written a letter to the Tagesspiegel's editorial department, demanding an apology.