FILE - A bust of Alfred Nobel is displayed at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, on Oct. 3, 2022. The ambassadors of Russia and Belarus have been excluded from this year's Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm because of the war in Ukraine. (Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency via AP, File)
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The ambassador of Iran also been excluded from this year’s Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm because of “the serious and escalating situation” in the country, the private foundation that administers the prestigious awards said Friday.
Earlier this week, the envoys of Russia and Belarus were barred from attending the glittery event because of the war in Ukraine.
“We believe that given the serious and escalating situation, Iran’s ambassador should not be invited to the Nobel Prize award ceremony,” the Nobel Foundation said in a statement. Normally, ambassadors stationed in Sweden are invited to the annual event on Dec. 10.
With the slogan #WomanLifeFreedom, the demonstrations in Iran first focused on women’s rights and the state-mandated hijab, or headscarf for women. But they quickly evolved into calls to oust the Shiite clerics that have ruled Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The protests have also galvanized university students, labor unions, prisoners and ethnic minorities like the Kurds along Iran’s border with Iraq. Since the protests erupted, security forces have fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse demonstrations, killing over 200 people, according to rights groups.
Earlier this week, the foundation also said it would continue its practice of inviting the leaders of all parties in the Swedish Parliament except the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats. Following the country’s Sept. 11, the party is the second-largest in Parliament and a close partner of the new center-right government. The party has sought to distance itself from its far-right roots.
The Nobel Prizes are always handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.