Concerts cancelled in IranTEHRAN, Oct 4: Iranian authorities have cancelled several musical concerts organized by European embassies after religious hard liners warned the government against the "corrupting" influence of Western culture, diplomats said on Monday.
Analysts said the concert cancellations reflected a new political climate in Iran, where religious hard liners now firmly have the upper hand over the pro-reform allies of moderate President Mohammad Khatami.
One Italian musical group left Iran without playing a note and planned concerts organized by the Swiss and Spanish embassies were scrapped, the diplomats said.
"The Culture Ministry cancelled the concerts fearing there may be some attacks on the concert hall by hard liners," one of the diplomats said. Following Iran's 1979 all but classical or religious music was banned. Restrictions eased somewhat following Mohammad Khatami's win in 1997. -Reuters