Newsha Tavakolian.

Photographer Newsha Tavakolian Barred from Working in Iran

Iranian authorities have barred Tehran-based photographer and Iranian citizen Newsha Tavakolian from working in the country, reports the New York Times. Her husband, New York Times correspondent Thomas Erdbrink, also had his press credentials revoked without explanation for four months.

The newspaper publicized the situation yesterday after speculation on social media about Erdbrink’s conspicuous absence in news reporting amid rising tensions between Iran and the US. Last month, Aras Amiri—the thirty-three-year-old art student, Iranian citizen, and British Council employee who was accused of spying for the UK and arrested in Tehran last March—was handed a ten-year prison sentence.

Analysts believe Iran’s motivations are linked to national policy decisions, such as the negotiation of international nuclear deals, and other disputes. The Trump administration abandoned a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran last year and is currently strengthening US military presence in the Persian Gulf.

Officials of Iran’s foreign ministry have assured the newspaper that Erdbrink, a citizen of the Netherlands, who has reported for the paper from Iran since 2012, would soon have his credentials reinstated, though no information on Tavakolian’s status has been shared.

Tavakolian began her career as a photojournalist, shooting guerilla fighters in Iraqi Kurdistan and Syria, and has contributed to the New York Times since 2001. Her work is in the collections of the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the Boston Museum of Fine Art; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She received the Prince Claus Award in 2015 and has been represented by Magnum since 2017.