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Hollywood team in Iran on cultural exchange

A top-level team from the Hollywood movie industry traveled to Iran on a non-government mission, for a weekend of cultural and creative exchange meetings, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has said.

world Updated: Feb 28, 2009 16:01 IST

A top-level team from the Hollywood movie industry traveled to Iran on a non-government mission, for a weekend of cultural and creative exchange meetings, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has said.

"I can confirm that a group of Academy members ... Are currently in Iran" on a "completely private initiative for educational and creative exchange and with no political agenda," AMPAS director of communications Leslie Unger told AFP.

She confirmed Iranian media reports saying the delegation included AMPAS president Sid Ganis, former president Frank Pierson, actress Annette Bening and producer William Horberg.

"The Academy group did receive visas and is currently in Tehran," Unger said.

Iranian media said the AMPAS group would hold a series of meetings today and tomorrow in Tehran.

US-Iranian diplomatic relations were severed 30 years ago after Iran's Islamic revolution, and the rift has been further aggravated since Tehran controversially revived its nuclear programme.

But Washington and Tehran have been showing tentative policy shifts after US President Barack Obama earlier this month said his administration would be ready in coming months to hold a "face-to-face" talk with Tehran.