Iranian traditional vocalist Ghorbani denied entry to US

TEHRAN, Apr. 01 (MNA) – Iranian traditional vocalist Alireza Ghorbani could not perform in California last week after US agents interrogated him for hours and denied him entry.

Organizers of the sold-out celebration of the Persian New Year, Nowruz, said the 49-year-old singer was unable to attend after being detained by agents in an airport in Toronto on Friday and refused entry to the United States following an interrogation.

“He got on his flight, sat on his seat and some [US immigration] officers got on the flight and took him out,” said Alireza Ardekani, executive director for the Los Angeles-area nonprofit Farhang Foundation, which collaborated with the Pacific Symphony to host the Nowruz event.

“They interrogated him for nearly four hours and eventually told him his visa was going to be canceled and he could no longer travel to the US,” Ardekani said.

“I just got a text saying he was not allowed to come — I thought it was a joke,” he added.

Ardekani later learned Ghorbani’s temporary detention and denial of travel was connected to his military service.

Beginning at age 18, Iranian men are required to complete up to two years of military service and are essentially drafted to serve, including in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

The White House, under the Trump administration, designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization in 2019. It was the first time Washington had designated an element of a foreign state as a terrorist entity, setting a bad precedent in international relations.

In response, Iran declared all US forces in the Middle East terrorists and called the US government a sponsor of terrorism.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington peaked in January 2020, when the US assassinated the IRGC’s prominent anti-terror General Qassem Soleimani, to which Iran responded by firing a barrage of missiles at two US bases in Iraq.


News Code 185247


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