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British Singer Joss Stone Says She's Been 'Deported' From Iran


Joss Stone: “Personally, I don’t fancy going to an Iranian prison." (file photo)

British soul singer Joss Stone says she was deported from Iran after arriving on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf as part of a worldwide concert tour.

In a video posted on Instagram on July 3, Stone who was wearing a white head scarf, said: "Well, we got to Iran, we got detained, and then we got deported."

The official government news agency IRNA quoted police in Kish as saying that Stone was denied entry as she was lacking "the necessary documents and an entry permit."

Stone said that she knew women in Iran are not allowed to perform solo concerts. It wasn't clear what the 32-year-old singer planned to do in Iran.

“Personally, I don’t fancy going to an Iranian prison, nor am I trying to change the politics of the countries I visit, nor do I wish to put other people in danger,” she wrote on Instagram.

She added that Iranian authorities placed her on a "blacklist" because they believed she might try to perform in public in the country.

"After long discussions with the most friendly, charming and welcoming immigration people, the decision was made to detain us for the night and to deport us in the morning," she said. "Of course, I was gutted. So close yet so far."

"These people are genuinely nice kind people that felt bad that they couldn't override the system," she added in her post on Instagram.

Under Iranian law, women cannot perform solo concerts, though women do play in ensemble bands and orchestras.

Kish Island
Kish Island

Iranian officials have not yet publicly reacted to Stone's comments.

Stone said immigration officials at Kish Island's airport had told her to go to the Iranian Embassy in the U.K. to "sort it all out and come back."

Kish Island, located in the Persian Gulf off the southern Iranian coast, is an economic free zone that allows visa-free travel by most nationalities.

Bob Levinson, a former FBI agent, vanished on Kish Island in 2007 while on an intelligence mission. Tehran has said it has no information about his fate.

The United States has called on Iran to return him.

With reporting by AP and the BBC
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