Israeli-Argentinian conductor Daniel Barenboim had his hopes dashed Friday after Iran’s Ministry of Culture said he will not be allowed to perform in Tehran,Haaretz reported, citing the Iranian Fars news agency.
Barenboim, general music director at Berlin’s Staatsoper opera house, had said on Thursday that there were discussions with Tehran over a proposed concert.
Sources with the opera house have told German media that if the nuclear deal is finalized, the orchestra will accompany German Chancellor Angela Merkel on her first visit to the Islamic Republic.
But spokesman Hussein Nushabadi rejected the symbolic gesture, saying, according to Haaretz, “Iran does not recognize the Zionist regime (Israel) and will not work together with artists of this regime.”
Nushabadi told Fars that the culture minister immediately spiked the idea on finding out that Barenboim is an Israeli citizen.
Barenboim is known for his radical pro-Palestinian views. In 2008 he received “Palestinian citizenship” from the Palestinian Authority (PA) for his long-standing support of establishing a Palestinian state and bitter criticism of Israel.
Barenboim has also raised controversy in Israel for his avid promotion of German composer Richard Wagner, whose music and rabid anti-Semitism played an influence on the genocidal Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Barenboim’s plans also angered Israel, whom the Islamic Republic continues to vow to annihilate. Culture Minister Miri Regev said Wednesday that she intended to send a letter of protest to Merkel calling on her to block the concert.
“In my letter I shall stress that Daniel Barenboim’s appearance in Iran harmsIsrael’s efforts to prevent the nuclear agreement and gives encouragement to de-legitimization of Israel,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
“Iran is a state which supports terror, is behind Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas and its leaders have blood on their hands. I believe that Germany would be acting rightly if it were to cancel the appearance of the orchestra and its conductor,” Regev continued.
She then accused Barenboim of “using culture as a platform for his anti-Israel political views.