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Apr 24, 2008

Iran barred from defence show

NST - A diplomatic row almost marred a premier global event when Iran was "evicted" as an exhibitor at the Putra World Trade Centre.

Word was abuzz on the second day of the 11th Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2008 exhibition and conference on Tuesday when the Iranian pavilion, housing nine companies, was abruptly sealed off by the organisers.

Visitors, exhibitors and officials were taken aback when workmen built what some diplomats called a "Berlin Wall" around the Iranian pavilion in Hall Number 6.

Initially, it was thought that the exhibitors from Iran had failed to settle outstanding fees owed to organisers DSA Exhibition and Conference Sdn Bhd.

By noon on Tuesday, it became apparent that Iran were told to "close shop" after protests from the United States, citing United Nations sanctions against it last October over Teheran's controversial nuclear programme.

It is learnt that officials of the US embassy had approached the organisers, the ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs, and several western participating countries to voice its concerns, threatening to pull out if its demands were not met. more...


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