(Persia Digest) – Speaking about the return of artists who emigrated from Iran, Mohammad-Esmaeil Saeidi, Member of the Cultural Commission of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran, said: “All those artists who are not guilty of any crimes or committed acts against the national security of Iran can return home; there are no restrictions in this regard.”

Persia Digest reports that the topic of Iranian artists who left the country after the 1979 revolution has been hotting up in the media over the past few weeks.

After the death of the renowned star of the Iranian cinema, Naser Malek-Motiei, who was banned from working after the revolution, over 170 famous Iranian actors and actresses wrote a letter to the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, titled “Free travel home and the natural right to work” asking him to lift unlawful restrictions on artists, including popular Iranian actor Behrouz Vosoughi.

Behrouz Vosoughi and the late Naser Malek-Motiei were two well-loved figures of the Iranian cinema, both of whom left Iran after the revolution. Neither one were allowed to return back home to continue work in their field of artistic expertise.

Once the letter to Rouhani went public, however, much opposition was voiced by certain factions in Iran. One of these was the Kayhan newspaper, voice of the conservatives, who wrote: “If an artist has committed a crime, no red carpet must be rolled out for them. These people want to let totally corrupt figures back into the country with pump and circumstance.”

Iran’s General Attorney has also severely criticized the letter asking for the return of Behrouz Vosoughi to Iran, saying: “The Iranian nation will not allow a campaign for the return of someone who is completely corrupt.”

Persia Digest reports that the Iranian President has not reacted to the letter and ensuing sidelines thus far.


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