Juliette Binoche’s Iran sojourns stir two MPs’ xenophobia

January 12, 2008

TEHRAN -- Two Iranian MPs are worried about the perhaps too frequent travels of Juliette Binoche to Iran.

During the last parliamentary session the MPs jointly requested that Iranian officials be cautious about issuing visas for foreign actors to visit Iran.
“The appearance of foreign actors in joint productions would result in cultural destruction since they would turn into role-models for Iranian youth,” the notice read.
“We have heard that certain consequences might result from foreign actors’ trips to Iran – consequences which might lead to intelligence and security issues,” said Jalal Yahyazadeh, one of the petitioners, who is MP for the cities of Taft and Meibod.
French actress Binoche has recently traveled to Iran, allegedly to widen her knowledge of the country prior to her performance in the movie “Certified Copy”, which is scheduled to be directed by celebrated Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami.
Oscar-winner Binoche stayed in Iran briefly in April 2006.
Binoche is the second foreign show biz celebrity to visit Iran since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
In June 2005, Sean Penn traveled to Tehran as a journalist to cover the Iranian presidential election campaign for the San Francisco Chronicle.