Taraneh Alidoosti, star of Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” and one of Iran’s most popular female actors, is set to receive a five-month prison sentence on charges of anti-government activism, BBC Persia has reported.
The BBC Persia report cited Alidoosti’s lawyer Kaveh Rad who tweeted that the sentence has been suspended for two years and would be officially announced in July 1. The news was also confirmed to Variety by Iranian actor Babak Karimi who co-starred with Alidoosti in “The Salesman” and, like Alidoosti, appears in several other Farhadi films.
Karimi added that Alidoosti was at home. He called the sentence an act of intimidation by Iranian authorities after she shared a video on Twitter of a member of Iran’s plainclothes “morality police” insulting and attacking a woman on the street for not wearing the hijab headscarf.
In January, Alidoosti sharply criticized Iranian authorities when she told her 5.8 million followers on Instagram that “we are not citizens, we are captives, millions of captives,” in a post that was subsequently removed.
London-based Iran International TV reported that on Jan. 21, Alidoosti was summoned to Branch 9 of the Culture and Media Prosecutor’s Office, charged with “propaganda activities against the state” and released on bail.
Alidoosti, who is described by some as Iran’s Natalie Portman, has previously used social media to express her outrage. In 2017, she boycotted the Academy Awards ceremony, where “The Salesman” scooped the best foreign language film Oscar. She also declared Donald Trump’s visa ban at the time “racist” via Twitter.
She previously caused an uproar in Tehran in 2006 when, during the Cannes press conference for “The Salesman,” a “woman power” symbol of a raised fist emerged sticking out from under her sleeve.