Iran scraps ban after filmmaker`s apology: Report

Asghar was banned from filming over his support for dissident filmmakers.

Tehran: Iran has scrapped a ban on internationally acclaimed director Asghar Farhadi`s unfinished film after he rendered an apology to the Culture Ministry, ILNA news agency said on Saturday.

Farhadi was banned from filming his movie "Nader divorces Simi" late last month because of his alleged support to dissident filmmakers, but ILNA said the ban had now been lifted.

"The authorisation to continue making the film by Farhadi has been issued after his apologies and following a speech made by the culture minister on Thursday," ILNA quoted public relations officer at the ministry Hamid Reza Dibaei as saying.

"He can now start filming from Saturday."

According to Iranian media, Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseini had said on the sidelines of a seminar on Thursday that Farhadi "had realised his mistakes”.

"The main issue is not Farhadi or his film... We believe that cultural and artistic groups... must not be involved in political matters," he said.

On September 26, the Shargh newspaper quoted Deputy Culture Minister Javad Shamaqdari as saying the authorities had revoked the permit for filming "Nader divorces Simin" because of the director`s "inappropriate" comments at a Iranian recent awards ceremony.

In a recent Iranian award ceremony, Farhadi wished for "change" as he spoke out in favour of actress Golshifteh Farahani and celebrated directors Jafar Panahi, who spent over three months in jail, and Mohsen Makhmalbaf, émigré filmmaker and vocal backer of Iran`s opposition Green Movement.

Farhadi, 37, won Berlin festival`s best director award last year for his popular drama "About Elly”, the story of a woman who vanishes on a weekend outing with friends, setting off a chain of lies to maintain appearances and traditional social mores in Iran`s conservative Islamic society.