Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party, has said he plans to air the film this month, though no date has been set. The government says it is powerless to ban the film before seeing its contents and is wary of breaching Wilders' right to freedom of expression.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari cited the 1948 Human Rights declaration's 29th article that individual rights may be limited in the interest of respecting other people's freedoms and "meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society."
'Nobody can say what's going to happen'
Wilders says the film will depict the Quran as a "fascist book" that can be used by extremists to incite violence and which preaches the oppression of women and homosexuals.
"Freedom of speech is not unlimited," Tehran's ambassador to the Netherlands, Bozorgmehr Ziaran told a small group of reporters at the Iranian Embassy. The film, he added, "would just breed violence." Wilders, Ziaran said, "is not a peacemaker, Mr. Wilders is a warmonger."
Already, angry crowds in Pakistan and Afghanistan have protested the film as an insult to Islam. The Dutch government has tightened security at its embassies around the Muslim world and said it fears a possible economic backlash as well as violent demonstrations. T
he Dutch terrorism watchdog last week raised the country's threat level, citing the Wilders film as one reason for the change.
Asked if an Iranian boycott of Dutch products and businesses was possible, Safari said Iran was keeping its options open as to how to protest if the film is aired. "All possibilities are on the table," he said. "Nobody can say what is going to happen."