Iran ministry shutters independent film institute

REPORTING FROM TEHRAN AND BEIRUT — Iran has pulled the plug on the independent Iranian House of Cinema, an organization bringing together thousands of people in Iran’s film industry.

The minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Mohammed Hosseini, said the institution was operating illegally, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Wednesday.

According to Iranian media reports, the guild received a letter from the Culture Ministry on Tuesday in which it demanded the center halt all operations by Thursday. In December, the ministry said IHC officials had established the organization “without legal formalities” and “other illegal acts,” Iranian media reported.

But critics remain skeptical and suggest the real reason for the shuttering of the film-promotion institute is political, noting that the decision comes as preparations are underway for parliamentary elections in March.


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