Iran to boycott Paris book fair
Iran said is boycotting this year's Paris book fair in protest at Israel being invited as guest of honour.
TEHRAN, March 3, 2008 - Iran said on Saturday it is boycotting this
year's Paris book fair in protest at Israel being invited as guest of honour,
the state-run IRNA news agency reported.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has participated in previous fairs but this
year because of France's decision Iran is boycotting the fair," said Ali
Alipour, an official at the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance.
Iran does not recognise Israel and has sharpened its rhetoric against it
during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Iranian president has provoked international outrage by repeatedly
predicting that Israel is doomed to disappear and he has courted more
controversy by playing down the scale of the Holocaust.
Several Arab and Muslim countries and writers' associations have said they
will stay away from the March 14-19 Paris book fair after organisers announced
that 39 Israeli writers were being invited to mark the 60th anniversary of the
creation of the Jewish state.
On Tuesday the 50-nation Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation (ISECSCO), called for a boycott of the event by Muslim states.