Iran boycotts Frankfurt Book Fair over Rushdie invite

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TEHRAN: Iran said on Wednesday it will boycott next week’s Frankfurt Book Fair after organisers invited the controversial author Salman Rushdie, whom Iranian scholars said should be killed, as a guest speaker. The foreign ministry said the fair had, “under the pretext of freedom of expression, invited a person who is hated in the Islamic world and create the opportunity for Salman Rushdie… to make a speech.” It said the Islamic republic “strongly protests” Rushdie’s appearance and had decided against participating in the fair, which is one of the world’s largest such events.  The ministry called on other Muslim nations to join its boycott. For his part, Deputy Culture Minister Abbas Salehi said, “Fair officials chose the theme of freedom of expression but they invited someone who has insulted our beliefs.”

AFP

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