Tehran (dpa) – Israeli-Argentinian conductor Daniel Barenboim had his
hopes dashed Friday after Iran’s Ministry of Culture said he will not
be allowed to perform in Tehran.
Barenboim, 72, general music director at Berlin’s Staatsoper opera
house, said on Thursday that there were discussions with Tehran over
a proposed concert.
But spokesman Hussein Nushabadi rejected the symbolic gesture with
the statement: “Iran does not recognize the Zionist regime (Israel)
and will not work together with artists of this regime.”
Nushabadi told news agency Fars that the culture minister immediately
spiked the idea on finding out that Barenboim is an Israeli citizen.
Israel however also criticized the conductor’s planned concert ahead
of reaction from Tehran. Barenboim, who is a vocal opponent of
Israel’s settlement policy in Palestinian territories, was abusing
Israeli culture to benefit his own political goals, according to a
post by Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev on Wednesday.
In 1999 Barenboim co-founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, an
ensemble made up of young Israeli and Arab musicians, to promote
understanding between Israelis and Palestinians and to contribute to
peace in the Middle East.