By Tessa Berenson
September 1, 2015

Iran won’t let Daniel Barenboim, the music director of the Berlin State Opera House, enter the country because he holds Israeli citizenship.

Barenboim was supposed to conduct a concert in Tehran, the Agence France Presse reports, but he has been barred for security reasons.

“We have no problem with the German orchestra coming to Iran, but we are opposed to the person leading that group,” Iranian culture ministry spokesman Hossein Noushabadi said. “He has multiple nationalities and one of them is Israeli. For security reasons and to prevent issues following the entry of certain people into Iran, we stopped it.”

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he supported Barenboim’s plan to conduct in Iran because of his “dedication to making music accessible to all people, irrespective of national, religious or ethnic boundaries.”

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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