Tags: french | officials | hassan rouhani | alcohol | dinner

French Officials: Hassan Rouhani Dinner Canceled Due to 'No Wine' Request

Image: French Officials: Hassan Rouhani Dinner Canceled Due to 'No Wine' Request
French President Francois Hollande (L) welcomes his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani for a meeting during the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York City, United States September 27, 2015. (Alain Jocard/Pool/Reuters)

By    |   Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 10:59 AM

President François Hollande has canceled plans to host Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for a dinner next week during his historic trip to Europe after he reportedly demanded there be no alcohol at the table.

"The Iranians, according to France’s RTL Radio, insisted on a wine-free meal with halal meat — a request based on Islamic codes that amounted to culinary sacrilege in France, a nation that puts the secular ideals of the Republic above all else," The Independent U.K. reported Wednesday.

Reports said that French officials offered to host an alcohol-free breakfast in lieu of a dinner, however the Iranians declined because the morning meal is "too cheap," according to the Daily Mail.

Rouhani's visit comes as European nations seek to repair and strengthen ties with Iran ahead of the expected passage of a multi-nation nuclear deal and lifting of economic sanctions early next year.

France was reported as having been particularly tough during the nuclear negotiations.

"The leaders have missed out on a great opportunity to meet in the relaxed environment of a meal," a diplomatic source told French radio.

In any case, "Several accords will be signed by French and Iranian ministers covering a variety of sectors, in particular political dialogue, economic cooperation, air transport, health, and agriculture," President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the Daily Mail, former Iraqi prime minister Nuri Al-Maliki declined a dinner invitation with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2009 because of a disagreement about alcohol at the table.

Just two years ago, Swedish ambassador Peter Tejler crossed his legs during a meeting with then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In so doing, he unconsciously exposed the soles of his shoes to Ahmadinejad, an insult in the Middle East. In response, Ahmadinejad crossed his legs in a similar fashion, showing his own soles to the ambassador.

In the 1970s, revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei also lived in exile in France.

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President François Hollande has canceled plans to host Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for a dinner next week during his historic trip to Europe after he reportedly demanded there be no alcohol at the table.
french, officials, hassan rouhani, alcohol, dinner
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2015-59-12
Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 10:59 AM
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