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Tehran 'Rejects Plan' For Barenboim Concert

An Iranian government official has said Tehran will not allow star conductor Daniel Barenboim to perform there.

The Berlin State Opera said August 27 that there were discussions between Tehran and Barenboim, an Israeli-Argentinian, over a proposed concert.

But Iranian Culture Ministry spokesman Hussein Nushabadi said on August 28 that Iran does not recognize Israel and therefore will not work together with Israeli artists.

The project has drawn protests from Israel, with Culture Minister Miri Regev accusing Barenboim of "using culture as a platform for his anti-Israel political views."

Barenboim has been an outspoken critic of Israel's Palestinian policies, and has taken honorary Palestinian citizenship as well as conducted a concert in Ramallah in 2005.

He is also controversial in Israel for his efforts to have the music of Richard Wagner, the German composer adored by Adolf Hitler, performed in the Jewish state.

Based on reporting by dpa, Reuters, and AFP