European diplomats boycott Iranian business forum after “barbaric and unacceptable” hanging of journalist Ruhollah Ram

Ambassadors from France, Germany, Austria and Italy have announced they will not participate in an online business forum in Tehran this week, in a growing row between Iran and European nations over the execution of Iranian dissident journalist Ruhollah Zam.

In a separate statement, organisers of the Europe-Iran business forum later said they were postponing the event.

Earlier, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the envoys from France and from Germany, current holder of the European Union’s rotating presidency, to protest over French and EU criticism of the hanging on Saturday, Iranian media reported.

France called Zam’s execution “barbaric and unacceptable”, and said it ran counter to Iran’s international obligations. Zam had been based in Paris before he was captured in Iraq and taken to Iran.

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The EU also strongly condemned Zam’s execution, as did Amnesty International and press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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