Cultural diplomacy can be as knotty as any other kind. The conductor Daniel Barenboim’s efforts to lead the Berlin Staatskapelle at a concert in Tehran drew criticism this week from the Israeli culture minister, who called the performance anti-Israel, and a rebuff from Iranian officials, who said on Friday that they would block the concert because of Mr. Barenboim’s Israeli citizenship.
Mr. Barenboim, who also holds Palestinian citizenship, had been in talks with Iran, exploring the possibility of a concert there. The nuclear accord reached this summer involving Iran and Germany, the United States and four other nations has awakened hopes for greater cultural exchanges between Tehran and the West. Israel strongly opposes the deal.
A spokesman for Iran’s Culture Ministry was quoted on Friday by the Fars news agency as saying that officials there had decided against the concert because Mr. Barenboim is Israeli.
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