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Six Iranian Filmmakers Launch Campaign Urging Deal Over Nuclear Crisis


By Charles Recknagel, RFE/RL

Six prominent Iranian movie directors have launched an Internet campaign saying "there is no deal that is worse than no deal" in an effort to end the crisis over Iran's nuclear program.

Among those leading the campaign at are Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, who won the award for best screenplay for her film "Tales" at this year's Venice Film Festival, and Asghar Farhadi, who won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012 for "A Separation."

The website for the campaign, which is in English, says international sanctions have hurt the Iranian people without harming Iran's nuclear program and urges Tehran and world powers to "address the issues, not special interests."

The other four well-known film directors supporting the No2NoDeal campaign are Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour, Abbas Kiarostami, Majid Majidi, and Reza Mirkarimi.

(Clockwise from top-left): Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpou, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Asghar Farhadi, Abbas Kiarostami, Majid Majidi, and Reza Mirkarimi -- six prominent Iranian film directors who have launched a campaign calling for a nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.

There is a lot of support among Iran's artistic community for President Hassan Rohani, who scored an overwhelming election victory in June last year partly on promises to engage with the West diplomatically in order to resolve the nuclear dispute.

Rohani's government has acknowledged the artists' support, and this has included allowing the reopening of a prominent center for filmmakers and artists in September that had been closed under the presidency of Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Iran and six world powers have given themselves a deadline of November 24 for striking an accord or giving up negotiations. The six world powers are the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told media in Tehran on September 29 that the negotiations would resume in Vienna or Geneva within two weeks.

He also said recent talks in New York had not made "substantive progress" and that Iran was not interested in extending the deadline.

Western countries have long suspected Iran of secretly pursuing nuclear weapons alongside its civilian atomic program.

Iran denies such allegations and insists its nuclear program is entirely devoted to peaceful purposes like power generation and medical isotopes.

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