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Iran to boycott Frankfurt Book Fair over Rushdie appearance

Iran is boycotting this year's Frankfurt Book Fair in protest over a planned opening speech by British novelist Sir Salman Rushdie.

Iranian state TV said the ministry of culture called the decision to invite the Indian-born writer an "anti-cultural action". It said Iran will not attend the fair in protest and urged other Islamic countries to do the same.

Hundreds of Iranian publishers usually attend the annual event in Germany, being held from October 14 to 18.

Sir Salman's book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1998 as many Muslims consider it blasphemous.

A year later, Iran's then leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Sir Salman's death. Iran also offered more than 3 million US dollars in reward for anyone who killed him.

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