Hassan Rouhani

Iranian sculptor Tanavoli blocked from leaving the country

Famed Iranian sculptor Parviz Tanavoli said Sunday he has been barred from leaving the country without explanation while trying to travel to Britain.

Authorities confiscated the artist's passport early Saturday morning while he tried to board a flight out of Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport. He had been scheduled to give lectures at the British Museum and Asia House in London.

Tanavoli told The Associated Press that he does not know why he was prevented from leaving. Immigration authorities directed him to the country's main passport office, but he came back empty-handed after spending several hours there.

"They said absolutely there is nothing we can...