The singer had been briefly detained at Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran
when he returned to the country on Jan. 4 from a New Year's vacation in
Dubai. His passport and identification documents were seized at the
time, the source said.
Witnesses at the airport told the source that a crowd of onlookers who
had initially sought Nazeri's autograph grew angry that he was being
detained and began shouting "Death to the Dictator." Nazeri was allowed
to leave the airport, but asked to report to security officials on
A hugely popular classical musician in Iran for more than 30 years,
Nazeri told The AP in October that he has never faced censorship in
Iran — a rarity for any artist. His songs are typically centuries-old
Iranian poems set to traditional music.
His song "Iran-e-Kohan" or "Original Iran," regained popularity as a
soundtrack for YouTube videos of violent street demonstrations
following the country's disputed June 12 elections.
The song first became popular during Iran's eight year war with Iraq in
the 1980s. Lyrics include: "The world watches for the freedom of
Iranians/Be aware, the original Iranians are in danger."
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