Mohammad Hosseiny

Iran’s Minister of Culture and Guidance says films that depict “a false view” of Iran will not be allowed to enter international festivals.

The Fars news agency reports that Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseiny delivered a speech yesterday at Sanaati Sharif University, saying: “We must reconsider our presence in international festivals; we have arranged matters so that films that depict a false view of Iran and Iranians do not find their way into festivals.”

Hosseiny dismissed statements that Iran is going through a cultural downturn, saying: “This government has tried to increase the volume of cultural and artistic activities because uncertain steps would result in our omission by invasive cultures.”

Hosseiny reminded his audience that he had always been a critic of the reformist Khatami government, claiming that its liberalism in economic, political and cultural matters had led to a “retreat of Revolutionary values.”

He added: “We now see that the leaders of that line of thinking are now in London and have completely separated their path from the path of the Revolution.”

Hosseiny’s reference appears to be to Ataollah Mohajerani, the Iranian culture and guidance minister in the government of President Mohammad Khatami, who was heavily criticized by the Conservative factions of the Islamic Republic for his “lenient” policies in the field of arts and culture.

Hosseiny was among the MPs who impeached Mohajerani in the 5th Islamic Republic Parliament, which was predominantly conservative. Mohajerani survived the impeachment but later resigned in 2000. He left Iran in 2009 and now resides in the United Kingdom.

Mohajerani is considered one of the supporters of the opposition movement in Iran popularly referred to as the “Green Movement.”