Iran joins boycott of book fairs

Iran joined Arab countries in boycotting a pair of book fairs in Europe because of their ties to Israeli literature.

Iran announced it will boycot the Turin Book Fair in Italy in May and the Paris Book Fair later this month. The Italian fair will honor the State of Israel, and both fairs have invited Israeli writers as special guests to mark Israel’s 60th anniversary.

After British-Pakistani writer Tariq Ali, Swiss Muslim intellectual Tariq Ramadan, and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in Paris called for a boycott of the events, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Saudi Arabia announced their intentions to stay home.

Organizers of the Paris event, which starts March 14, have noted that many of the invited Israeli writers have been outspoken supporters of Palestinian statehood.

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