Cartoon bans hit Danish firms
A supermarket in Muscat, Oman has been cleared of Danish products.
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(CNN) -- A boycott of Danish goods called by Muslim leaders over the publishing of cartoons of Prophet Mohammed is dealing a blow to the nation's businesses.
Oil giant Iran became the latest nation to impose penalties, saying on Monday it would cut off all trade ties with Denmark. Reuters reported that Iran imports $280 million worth of goods from Denmark a year.
A report on the state-run news agency IRNA said Iranian Commerce Minister Massoud Mirkazemi had stopped trade with Denmark, but certain types of machinery and medicine would be allowed in for another three months.
Iran has withdrawn its ambassador to Denmark as well.
Qatar's Chamber of Commerce said it had halted dealings with Danish and Norwegian delegations, while in Bahrain, parliament formed a committee to contact Arab and Islamic governments to enforce the boycott.
Iraq's transport ministry also said it was severing ties with the Danish and Norwegian governments, a move that includes terminating all contracts with companies based in those countries.
The cartoons of Mohammed first appeared in a Danish paper Jyllands-Posten in September. The paper said it had asked cartoonists to draw the pictures because the media was censoring itself over Muslim issues.
Islam forbids depictions of Mohammed and many Muslims were furious at the drawings, one of which shows the religious figure wearing a turban shaped like a bomb.
The government has also expressed apologies for the offending drawings. (Danes feel threatened)
Amid the violence, non-Danish companies have rushed in to tell consumers about the origin of their products in a bid to keep them on supermarket shelves.
Switzerland's Nestle, Italy's Ferrero and New Zealand's dairy co-operative Fonterra were among the companies putting out newspaper ads showing their products were not made or imported from Denmark, according to Reuters.
Danish-Swedish dairy company Arla Foods told Reuters it was losing $1.8 million of sales a day in the Middle East. Its products were removed from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.
"Not a single sachet of a Danish product is left on our shelves," the director of a Kuwaiti supermarket told Reuters.
CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons out of respect for Islam.
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