The Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic
Guidance has not granted a license to any Iranian expatriate pop singers living
in Los Angeles, the culture minister said on Monday. "Someone has applied for a
license to record an album (in Iran), but nobody has been granted a license so
far," Mohammad Hosseini noted.
In early May, a number of Persian websites
quoting Iranian TV host Reza Rashidpur announced that Habib Mohebbian, the
Iranian pop singer living in Los Angeles, had traveled to Iran to give concerts.
The Music Office of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance confirmed
Habib's trip to Iran.
Music Office director Ali Torabi also said that Habib has applied for a license
to record an album in Iran.
"His application will be examined in due course from within the legal framework
of the Music Office," Torabi added.
Afterward, Persian websites reported that Nasrollah Moin and Bijan Mortazavi,
two other Los Angeles-based Iranian pop singers, had come to Iran to visit a
high-ranking official. However, the purpose of their visit was not mentioned on
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iranian pop music was
banned in Iran.
Consequently, most of the Iranian pop singers and a number of musicians left the
country to live in self-imposed exile in Los Angeles. Thus, they were dubbed
'the Los Angeles singers' by the Iranian government.
They resumed their artistic endeavors in Los Angeles providing fellow countrymen
with their records.
In 1990s, despite all official restrictions, a new generation of pop singers
emerged in Iran. The Iranian government implicitly lifted its ban on this music
genre. By lifting the ban, the government also wanted to provide an alternative
to the records that were being produced by the Iranian singers in Los Angeles.
Despite their efforts, the songs being produced in Los Angeles are still
preferred over those made in Iran.