Iran nixes Israeli conductor’s Tehran performance


(JTA) — Iran says it will not allow Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim to perform at a Tehran concert.

The Iranian culture minster is canceling the Berlin Philharmonic concert because Barenboim is an Israeli citizen, according to a report by the German newspaper Der Spiegel cited in the London Jewish Chronicle.

“Iran does not recognize the Zionist regime and will not cooperate with artists of this regime,” a spokesman for the ministry was quoted as saying.

The concert, which was planned for later this year, was announced earlier this week.

Before Iran’s announcement, Israeli Minister of Culture Miri Regev and others in Israel had spoken out against the Argentine-born Barenboim, who is a frequent critic of the Israeli government, performing in the Islamic Republic.

“Iran is a state supporter of terror, stands behind Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, and its leaders have blood on their hands,” Regev wrote on Facebook. “I believe Germany would do right to cancel the orchestra and conductor’s concert.”

Barenboim has run into controversy before regarding Israel. He has attempted to have the music of the anti-Semitic German composer Richard Wagner performed in Israel, in violation of an unofficial boycott. He also holds honorary Palestinian citizenship and conducted a concert in Ramallah in 2005.

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