Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance has offered workspace to artists involved in anti-government protests on the condition that they express “regret.”
"We are endeavoring to provide a work environment for individuals who have expressed regret and reintegrated into society," Mohammad Mehdi Esmaeili said on April 17, according to the semo-official ISNA news agency.
"However, the situation of those who remain at odds with the values of the Iranian population will be handled differently," he warned.
Many Iranian artists and celebrities have voiced support for the protest movement sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody in September 2022 and criticized the authorities’ brutal clampdown on dissent.
Actresses including Katayoun Riahi, Taraneh Alidoosti, Sharareh Dolatabadi, Shaghayegh Dehghan and Hedieh Tehrani removed their mandatory head coverings in public and vowed not to participate in projects supported by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
Publishers and authors announced their refusal to send works to the Ministry of Education, citing their unwillingness to tolerate excessive censorship.
Some defiant artists and members of the literary community have been arrested, summoned or banned, with Islamic Republic officials accusing them of "fanning the flames of the riots." The minister of culture imposed a ban on women artists who removed their hijabs in public.