Mohammad Nourizad

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Mohammad Nūrīzād
محمد نوری‌زاد
Mohammad nourizad.jpg
Born (1952-12-10) 10 December 1952 (age 66)
OccupationDirector, activist, journalist
Years active1982–present

Mohammad Nourizad, (Persian: محمد نوری زاد‎) born 10 December 1952 in Shahriar County is an Iranian filmmaker, activist, and former journalist for the conservative daily Kayhan.[1] He was arrested after writing a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, urging him to apologize to the nation for the bloody crackdown on the opposition after the disputed 2009 June presidential elections.


On 18 April 2010, it was reported that he was sentenced three-and-a-half years in prison.[2][3]

His protest was called "unexpected" as he was "a prominent Iranian conservative respected by supporters" of the Islamic regime, and "explicitly targeting" the Supreme Leader for criticism in his letter.[4] The letter read in part,

"As commander in chief of the armed forces, you didn't treat people well after the election. Your agents opened fire, killed the people, beat them and destroyed and burnt their property. Your role in this can't be ignored, ... Your apology can cool down the wrath of the people."[4]

A year earlier he had "aroused a wave of protest and criticism" with an article on his blog (Gah-e Nevesht) calling for Iran’s leading clerics to avoid getting involved in governmental affairs, after several such clerics called for the dismissal of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's vice president, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei. (Masha’i had made a statement regarding the friendly relations between the Iranian nation and the Israeli people, as opposed to the Israeli state.)[1]

Hunger strike[edit]

On 11 December 2010, Nourizad started a hunger strike to protest a lack of attention from Iranian authorities to his complaints of alleged mistreatment by interrogators at the Evin prison. On 16 December authorities detained his family members after they showed up outside the prison to inquire about his failing health.[5][6]

Apologizing for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei[edit]

On July 15, 2013, Nourizad kissed the feet of a 4-year-old Bahá'í boy whose parents had been arrested for participation in the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education, saying: "…why shouldn't I kiss your feet as a representative of the office of [Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] and the [many] Shi'ite sources of emulation?"[7] and published the event on his blog.[8] The boy's father responded in a letter from prison dated July 18 saying in part: "Mr. Nourizad! Standing before Artin, you knelt and kissed his feet. I found this to be an utmost expression of love and respect, not to Artin but to the pure human spirit. At the same time, I wish that no person be forced to kneel before another person out of shame. …. Mr. Nourizad! You asked Artin to slap you and to spit on you. I heard this request as your attempt to ease his pain, and the utmost sign of your honesty and your acceptance of responsibility. At the same time, I wish that no human body should have to be exposed to such a thing, as the body houses the human spirit and the human spirit is a display of the Divine one."[9]

In September 2013, Nourizad filmed Mohammad Maleki, former Rector of the University of Tehran, publicly apologizing in a similar way for his part in turning away Bahá'í students from Iranian universities.[10]


Year English title Persian Length Notes
1986 All together Hame ba Ham Director and Screenwriter
1989 Thirsty Palmae Nakhlestan-e Teshne Director and Screenwriter
1990 The Sea for You Darya baraye To Screenwriter only
1991 The Bullets and the Flowers Gol-ha va Golouleh-ha Screenwriter only
2000 Waiting Entezar Director and Screenwriter
2005 The Persian Prince Shahzadeh-ye Parsi Director and Screenwriter
2007 My Southern Land Sarzamin-e Jonoubi-ye Man Director and Screenwriter
2009 Flags of Kaveh's Castl[11] Parcham-haye Ghal'eye Kaveh Director and Screenwriter



  1. ^ a b HAS THE STATUS OF IRANIAN CLERICS BEEN ERODED? Raz Zimmt, September 22, 2008. Accessed 19 April 2010
  2. ^ Iran sentences critic filmmaker to prison[dead link], AP, 18 April 2010. Accessed 19 April 2010
  3. ^ "Iran sentences critic filmmaker to prison". Associated Press. April 18, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Iranian conservative harshly criticises regime By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, The Associated Press, September 14, 2009. Accessed 19 April 2010
  5. ^ "Iran releases family of imprisoned filmmaker". Fox News. 16 December 2010.
  6. ^ Iran detains family of imprisoned filmmaker | Washington Examiner
  7. ^ Esfandiari, Golnaz (July 16, 2013). "Following Pope's Example, Iranian Dissident Kisses Feet Of Baha'i Boy". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  8. ^ Nourizad, Mohammad (در تاریخ تیر ۲۴, ۱۳۹۲). "(شما اینجا هستید: صفحه نخست » مقالات محمد نوری زاد » بوسه بر پای یک "بهایی" کوچک (محمد نوری زاد)". Retrieved September 7, 2013. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ "Artin's Dad responds to Nourizad from prison". July 18, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  10. ^ compiled/translated by Sen McGlinn from Persian sources (September 25, 2013). "Former Rector of Tehran University apologizes". Retrieved September 25, 2013.
  11. ^ White Sands International Film Festival, Flags Of Kaveh's Castle, 2009. Accessed 19 April 2010

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