The culture and Islamic guidance ministry has given De Burgh permission to stage a concert in Tehran next year. He is expected to play in a 12,000-seater venue with an Iranian band, Arian, with whom he has recorded a song, A Melody For Peace. Approval for the concert comes amid growing intolerance of western culture under president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. CDs by internationally popular acts have become harder to obtain while the government has pressed state broadcasters to favour Iranian over western music, some of which has been denounced as satanist. However, De Burgh's anodyne persona has persuaded the authorities to draw a distinction between him and more exotic performers (like James Blunt?). They may also have been persuaded by his description in 2002 of Iran as "one of those countries I would love to visit, not only for historical reasons but also for the fact that I believe that music is an international language and deserves to be heard all over the world".
Pop concerts are rare in Iran and have to be approved by the culture and Islamic guidance ministry, which scrutinises lyrics and musical style for "un-Islamic" influences. Many artists only perform instrumental pieces to avoid giving offence. Some bands also play illicit gigs in "underground" venues, such as car parks, an offence that can result in imprisonment.
I can only imagine that the Argentine born, Irish resident is part of an American plan to punish Iran over its nuclear programme. Realising that a military offensive is unfeasible, the US is resorting to a less lethal but method of Iran’s leaders toe the line. De Burgh is merely a warning shot - failure on the part of the Iranians to comply with American demands will result in a Michael Bolton/Barry Manilow salvo (If Germany joins a new coalition of the willing then Guildo Horn may be sent too). Further non compliance on Iran’s part may cause the ultimate weapon to be unleashed – Celine Dion Oh the horror!.
My thanks go The Norfolk Blogger where I saw the story first