Iran: TV stars 'warned not to play clerics'

Iranian film-makers and TV stars who "insult clerics" by dressing up as men of God have been threatened by a seminary leader, it's reported.

Ayatollah Seyyed Hashem Hoseyni-Bushehri, who heads the Qom Seminary, criticised the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) for airing shows that "demean the clerical attire", according to Rasa news agency. It seems his rant was triggered by the DVD release of a new comedy series called Shahgoosh. Production of the series started in July, in the presence of former President Mohammad Khatami.

But Rasa quotes hardliner Hoseyni-Bushehri as telling the Islamic Publicity Organisation it was just "another series... wherein a famous person has worn the clerical attire". He said: "We hereby warn you that enough is enough. If you do not help the clerics, stop playing with their reputation; because if one day this seminary decides [to stand against you], you will be left with nothing."

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