Iran says the works of Paulo Coelho are under no ban by the Islamic Republic authorities and maintained that an official statement soon to be released by the Iranian ministry of culture will confirm this.
On Monday, Coelho issued a statement in his blog saying that Arash Hejazi, his editor in Iran had informed him that the Iranian ministry of culture had banned all his books.
Coelho, whose works have been translated to Persian since 1998 and sold more than 6 million copies in Iran, expressed every hope that this is only a misunderstanding and called for the support of the Brazilian government to solve the issue.
He added that however if there is indeed an official ban on his books, he would post them on the web for free access of readers.
On Wednesday, Coelho went on to make three of his works in Persian available through free download links in his blog.
While the ministry of culture has not refuted the ban, Iranian embassy sent an e-mail to the website of the Brazilian daily, O Estado de Sao Paulo writing: “The information on a veto on the books by author Paulo Coelho was denied by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Orientation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Paulo Coelho is the author of such bestsellers as The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage.
The Brazilian culture minister, Ana de Hollanda has condemned the ban and promised to follow up on the matter with the country’s foreign minister.