An upcoming historic meeting in Paris turned sour when a dispute over wine spoiled any possibility of a diplomatic dinner between France and Iran.
France’s RTL Radio reports that a formal meal with French President Francois Hollande and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani was scrapped after the Iranians insisted on halal fare — meaning absolutely no alcohol.
The food fracas comes as Rouhani is staging his first official trip to Europe as president, one meant to herald Iran’s economic coming out after a long period of international sanctions. Rouhani will meet with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Pope Francis and Italian companies in Rome on Saturday before moving on to France, where he is set to deliver a speech at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and meet with French officials and companies.
The French refused to entertain the idea of a dinner with no wine and offered instead to have a breakfast for French President Hollande and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani.
The Iranian’s dismissed the offer as “too cheap.”
Elysee Palace had no comment about the wine spat when contacted by the Washington Post.