BIEN POR HOLLANDE: France Scraps Diplomatic Dinner After Iran Objects to Serving Wine:
Presidents François Hollande and Hassan Rouhani were all set to have dinner during Rouhani’s tour of Europe this weekend. But dinner was scrapped after the Iranians demanded that it conform to Islamic dietary standards: meaning halal meat and, crucially, no alcohol.
The French, who have a strong tradition of strict secularism in government affairs, balked at the request. They suggested instead a meatless and alcohol-free breakfast, but the Iranians found that “cheap” and too informal. Instead, the two leaders will meet in a face-to-face chat, sans food or alcohol at all.