Payam Fazlinejad

Vahid Rahbani, director of the recent production of Hedda Gabler in Tehran was accused of ties of to foreign elements and the Iranian opposition abroad by Keyhan columnist, Payam Fazlinejad.

Fazlinejad, an Iranian journalist with close ties to the Iranian intelligence ministry, told the state website Jahan News that Vahid Rahbani is collaborating with Iranian opposition forces abroad, the French and the Freedom House in the US.

“Why has Rahbani received a permit to put on a show? And why has he not been prosecuted for his anti-Iran activities upon entering Iran?” Fazlinejad asks.

Fazlinejad calls for action against the ministry of culture. Praising Tehran prosecutor’s decision to shut down the play, he insists that not only the organizers and prosecutors of the play but also the government agents in the ministry that have issued a permit for Hedda Gabler to go on stage should stand trial.

The production of Hedda Gabler in Tehran was shut down amidst protests from Iranian media specifically Fars new agency which accused it of promoting "hedonism."

The spokesman for the parliament’s cultural commission later announced that Hedda Gabler was against Iranian  values and called for firm confrontation with the play’s organizers and producers.

Despite all the negative publicity and accusations, the minister of culture has defended the decisions of his ministry maintaining that the negative reviews of the play have been exaggerated.