Actor Sean Penn has caused controversy in America by attending anti-US meetings
and interviewing the major contender for presidency in Iran about American
politics, during his stint in the Middle East covering Iran’s elections for the
San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
The controversial movie star has been hired as a journalist by Sharon Stone‘s
ex-husband Phil Bronstein and is working with a translator in Tehran ahead of
the elections on June 17. But he has already offended many Americans by listening to Muslim worshippers
chanting “death to America” on June 10.
Penn says of the weekly “death to America” chants, “I understand the nature
of where it comes from and what its intention is. But I don’t think it’s
productive because I think the message goes to the American people and it is
interpreted very literally.”
He also sparked a media frenzy, by quizzing former Iranian president and
Sh’ite Muslim cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, about America’s belief Iran’s
election is undemocratic, because hundreds of possible contenders were banned
from running by a panel of religious leaders.
But Rafsanjani told Penn Iran’s elections are more democratic than America’s,
because they have eight presidential candidates, which is more than the US had
at their November polls.
Rafsanjani says, “If the number of candidates is a proof of democracy, we
are better than the Americans in this regard.”
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