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  • Iran did not ban Hollywood-bound star: report

    Says ban was a rumor, she is already in the US

    Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, who starred in a Hollywood movie, has left for the United States, a colleague was quoted as saying Tuesday, denying reports that she faced a travel ban.

    "This trip took place last Thursday and she has gone to the United States on a personal visit," casting director Mohammad Reza Sharifinia, who has worked on a number of films with Farahani, told the Fars news agency.

    Iran's state news agency IRNA quoting an "informed source" said last week that Farahani had been banned from leaving Iran over her appearance in Ridley Scott's latest movie "Body of Lies" along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe.

    "These are all rumors and her trip proves these rumors wrong," Sharifinia said of the reported ban, which sparked criticism in several Iranian newspapers.

    Reports said Farahani had insisted in her contract on wearing the Islamic headscarf or a wig in the film in order to respect Iran's law, which requires every post-pubescent woman to cover hair and bodily contours in public.

    The 25-year-old Farahani is one of Iran's most popular actresses and has starred in several Iranian movies, including "Santouri", which tells the story of young couple in which the husband, a musician, becomes a drug addict.

    The film was banned from public screening but bootlegged CDs of the production became an instant hit with Iranians.

    Her appearance in "Body of Lies", which tells the story of a CIA agent sent to Jordan to track down an Al-Qaeda leader, marked the first by an actress living in Iran in a Hollywood production.

    Iranian actor Homayoun Ershadi starred as Baba in Hollywood's 2007 adaptation of the best-selling novel "The Kite Runner".