Acclaimed Iranian film director and his wife stabbed to death in home


An award-winning Iranian film-maker and his wife have been stabbed to death in their home on the outskirts of Tehran, according to state media.

Movie director Dariush Mehrjui and Vahideh Mohammadifar were found with knife wounds to their necks, according to the official IRNA news agency, quoting a judiciary official.

His daughter, Mona Mehrjui, discovered the bodies when she went to visit her 83-year-old father on Saturday night.

The couple lived in a suburb about 19 miles (30km) west of Iran’s capital.

The report said authorities were investigating and gave no indication of a motive, although the wife had complained about a knife threat on social media in recent weeks.

While unclear if it was a random crime, the murders are likely to fuel suspicions over the involvement of the authorities, coming in the wake of a deadly crackdown against opponents of the Tehran regime.

Mehrjui had been a long-time critic of state censorship and last year angrily protested against a government decision to ban his latest film.

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His killing follows the recent anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s notorious morality police, which sparked an uprising and threatened the Islamic republic.

The response of the cleric-led government was brutal and bloody with more than 500 people killed, including 70 children.

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Protests mark anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death

Mehrjui, whose films included The Cow and The Pear Tree, was known as a cofounder of Iran’s film new wave in the early 1970s that mainly focused on realism.

He received a series of international awards for his work.

Mr Mehrjui studied cinema at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the early 1960s.

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