Joss Stone was deported from Iran. She has been saying, “the Iranian authorities did not believe she would not try to play a public show in the country.” She may have been told so, and not being familiar with the settings, she believed it too. I assure you, no one in Iran, not the authorities and not the people believe that to be the case.
Regardless of her intentions, it was not even a remote possibility. Organizing a concert is closely watched by several government agencies, including the ministry of truth, and even approved (male) performers with a license for a show and verified groupies and everything have not been able to perform at times. So, why then?
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So , our very last country on the list was Iran . We were aware there couldn’t be a public concert as I am a woman and that is illegal in this country. Personally I don’t fancy going to an Iranian prison nor am I trying to change the politics of the countries I visit nor do I wish to put other people in danger. However, it seems the authority’s don’t believe we wouldn’t be playing a public show so they have popped us on what they call the ‘black list ‘ as we found out when we turned up to the immigration hall. After long discussions with the most friendly charming and welcoming immigration people the decision was made to detain us for the night and to deport us in the morning. Of course I was gutted. So close yet so far, this moment broke a little piece of my heart. Then I realised the silver lining was bright. I told them my story and explained my mission, to bring good feeling with what I have to give and show those who want to look, the positives of our globe. All with the understanding that public performance wasn’t an option in this scenario. I still have to walk forward towards that goal some way some how. And of course music is my driver. Doesn’t mean we have to brake any laws though. There is music everywhere. Even here, we just have to play by there rules and they have to believe we will. It’s a trust thing. They were so kind to us, at one point I started to question it. The question whirled around my head, were they just luring is into a false sense of security so we would walk into our jail cells quietly with out a drama? Nope , these people are genuinely nice kind people that felt bad that they couldn’t over ride the system. They didn’t speak English so well so the translator Mohamed, who clearly had a lovely soul conveyed the message that they hoped we would go to embassy to sort it all out and come back, they were refusing us entry with a heavy heart and were so sorry. After Mo had left, the officers kept telling us sorry. They said sorry all the way through this process and kept saying this till we got on the plane they were sending us away on. We were the ones that should have been apologising for not having our correct paper work. The ball
Back in 2016, a female Porn Star travels to Iran, anonymously, of course, so according to her, only very close friends and family knew about it. She does some beauty surgery, which is very cheap in Iran. I should also note that our doctors are excellent and many people, especially from neighbor countries, visit Iran for this magical combination of excellent cheap medical services.
So, everything goes fine, and our star gets back to the US. Her casual tweets, talking about her pleasant trip and how Iranian people were warm to her, broke out as a security scandal in Iran. Some of the hardliners blamed the security agencies for a lapse in judgment in allowing such a person in the country.
In their defense, she had used her real name, not the stage name, so they had no way of knowing the true identity. Needless to say, that explanation won the joke of the year back then.
Ever since the tolerance for such scandals has dropped much lower, and the officers prefer to be safe than sorry, even if they had to ruin some celebrity’s vacation.
Also, Joss Stone came into the country from Kish airport. Kish is a resort island in the south of Iran. There is this thing in countries with centralized power model. Orders come from the capital. The authority, the decision makers, are there. In such situations, local officials, are usually given a limited amount of power, and they are trying to carefully dot the “i”s and connect the “T”s.
If she had come in from Tehran’s international airport, odds are she could get into the country. She would have been warned about certain actions and given instructions, but that would have been it.
Back in, if I am not mistaken, 2005 Christopher Hitchens came to Iran. He knew what to say. He even had grown his beard, which was unnecessary but may have helped. Hitchens was a well-known journalist at the time, but he was granted entry, and I’m happy to report he had a good time here. Now, Joss Stone is saying she is on a blacklist. Hitchens was not on a blacklist, and I am telling you neither is she. Unlike how they use it in the US, the blacklist is reserved only for active enemies of the state, not pop stars.
The case here is a simple one. She would attract unwanted publicity, and in case of her visit, some hardliners would criticize the authorities for allowing her ilk into the country, especially if she had to meet with cheering fans trying to get selfies with her, so the authorities had played it safe and rejected her request for entry. That’s it.