Iran’s culture minister says his ministry will not “succumb to arbitrary and self-appointed groups” in relation to music concerts.

Culture Minister Ali Jannati

Culture Minister Ali Jannati

ISNA reports that Ali Jannati was speaking on the evening of Friday February 20 at the closing of the Fajr Music Festival when he said some political and self-appointed groups are trying to “abuse the public’s religious sentiments by disseminating false news and causing offence to the feelings of pious people”.

Jannati stressed that the managers at the Ministry of Culture and Guidance are more knowledgeable about religion, art and music so they will not surrender to the will of such groups.

In recent months, a number of music concerts with permits from the ministry have been cancelled through the interference of extremist groups.

Even a male-female duet on a recently released CD has caused continued controversy because of efforts to draw the attention of hardline members of the clergy to the matter. A number of religious leaders have spoken out against the ministry for allowing “solo performances by women”.

Jannati stressed that the ministry respects the views of religious leaders and will make every effort to comply with all the rules and regulations in its field of responsibility.