27 January 2016

Iran and France cancel diplomatic lunch to welcome Hassan Rouhani after French refuse to take wine off the menu

A lunch between the French and Iranian presidents in Paris has been scrapped after the hosts refused to take wine off the menu.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani had been due to eat lunch with French President Francois Hollande in an upmarket restaurant as part of Mr Rohani’s tour of Europe - but negotiations broke down after the Iranians requested a halal, alcohol-free meal.

French officials insisted on serving traditional local food and wine and said making a meal “Iran friendly” went against their Republican values.

The Elysee Palace suggested the heads of state share breakfast instead but this was rejected as “too cheap”.

A source told French radio station RTL: “The leaders have missed out on a great opportunity to meet in the relaxed environment of a meal.” [The Independent] Read more