Iran fires its Dubai Expo boss for 'displaying pistachios'
The managing director of the state-owned Iran International Exhibitions Company (IIEC) has been fired after widespread domestic criticism of Tehran's participation in the Dubai Expo 2020 event.
Iran's Trade Minister fired Hassan Zamani after he focused on displaying Iranian agricultural and food products - such as pistachios, caviar, and traditional sohan sweets - at the exhibition, instead of showcasing Iran's "space, nuclear, and medical achievements", the Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday.
This, the news agency said, had led to a wave of criticism in Iran.
The Dubai Expo 2020 is a major global event that began in October 2021 in the UAE. The event was meant to take place in 2020, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Others have criticised the UAE for its normalisation of relations with Israel.
Zamani responded to his detractors by saying that the exhibition - billed by its organisers as "the world's greatest cultural gathering" - was "not about industry".
"Space, nuclear, and medical achievements should be displayed elsewhere," the fired director said, adding that the Dubai Expo was "exclusively artistic and cultural".
Zamani had also been criticised for general mismanagement of Iran's presence at the exhibition, with Tasnim opining that the Iranian pavilions at the Dubai Expo did not adequately represent the country's products and exports.