The diplomatic row over Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi and her medal continues as Norway and Iran summon each others ambassadors.
Tehran has not denied taking the human rights campaigner’s medal, but its foreign ministry implied Ebadi owed tax on the million euro prize money.
The Nobel Institute in Norway, which selects the peace laureates, says its award is tax free.
Geir Lundestad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, expressed the organisation’s fury.
“Shirin Ebadi has done nothing wrong and we think she is being punished in a totally illegal way. It’s not only (her) that is being punished, it is also her husband and her friends and family members. This (is) totally unacceptable,” he said.
Ebadi and her husband, who has been arrested in Tehran, have been at the forefront of protests in the wake of the disputed presidential elections last June.
Ebadi left Iran shortly before the poll but intends to return. 81 people have been jailed and five sentenced to death for involvement in the post- election unrest.
Nobel prize institute criticises Iran