Iran Cinema Chief Resigns from Government to Pursue Film-Making
Iran's leading advocate for its globally-acclaimed cinema, Seifollah Dad, has resigned from his post as deputy culture minister to pursue his own celluloid dreams, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.
"I want to make films," he told the agency.
Dad, 53, who is close with reformist President Mohammed Khatami, handed his resignation to Culture Minister Ahmed Masjed-Jamei two weeks ago, IRNA said.
Rumors had swirled around Tehran that Dad had decided to quit due to heavy pressures from conservative clerics.
Iran's longtime culture minister, Ataollah Mohajerani, stepped down from his post in December 2000 after a long struggle with the country's powerful clerics and was replaced in January by Masjed Jasmei.
Dad was appointed in August 1997, shortly after Khatami was first elected president, with an agenda for greater freedom in Iranian society.
Dad's appointment was popular with Iran's film industry who had long bristled at the government's heavy-handed censorship since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Dad had promised to loosen the tight government controls on movie-making -- (AFP)
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