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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 December 2007, 19:46 GMT
De Burgh 'will play gig in Iran'
Chris De Burgh
De Burgh's hits include A Spaceman Came A Travelling
Lady In Red star Chris De Burgh will be the first Western artist to play a concert in Iran since the country's 1979 revolution, according to reports.

Authorities in Tehran have approved a plan for the Irish singer to play with Iranian pop group Arian, the group's manager told Reuters news agency.

De Burgh recently recorded a song, The Words I Love You, with the band.

Western pop songs with lyrics are banned in Iran, although state radio sometimes plays instrumental versions.

Iranians wanting to record an album or stage a concert need to get official permission.

Last month, the government announced a campaign against rap music, which it considers obscene.

But De Burgh, known for soft rock ballads like Don't Pay The Ferryman, seems unlikely to raise the ire of the ministry for culture and Islamic guidance - although he may want to leave Patricia The Stripper off his set list.

Arian's manager, Mohsen Rajabpour, told Reuters that the ministry for culture had "officially announced that there is no problem with holding a joint performance".

"We are trying to organise the concerts, scheduled for June and July," he added, confirming a report carried by Iran's Fars new agency.

The plan is to hold the concert at a 12,000-seat stadium complex in Tehran.

De Burgh is expected to visit Iran early next year as a tourist for discussions on the project.

Calls to the singer-songwriter's management by the BBC were not immediately returned.

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