Tehran, Iran: Iranian police arrested the “main killer” of director Dariush Mehrjui who was stabbed to death along his wife at the weekend, Tasnim news agency reported on Thursday.
The 83-year-old, associated with the Iranian new wave of cinema, and his wife Vahideh Mohammadifar, a 54-year-old screenwriter, were killed Saturday at their home in Karaj, a city in Alborz province west of Tehran.
“The main killer who was among those arrested by the police was identified and confirmed” during preliminary investigations, Tasnim said, citing the police.
“Interrogations are still ongoing to identify the accomplices and hidden angles of this murder.”
Alborz province chief justice Hossein Fazeli-Harikandi said investigations indicated “personal differences” were the motive for the murder, according to the judiciary’s Mizan Online website.
Police have arrested 10 people over the killings, Mizan reported on Tuesday, without providing further details.
Prominent figures from Iran’s film industry joined hundreds of mourners Wednesday for the funeral of Mehrjui and his wife, among them the directors Jafar Panahi and Massoud Kimiai.
Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has ruled out any “link between the murder of Mehrjui and the serial assassinations” of dissident intellectuals in November 1998 committed by the country’s secret service.
The 1998 crimes were attributed by the government to “uncontrolled elements” from the intelligence ministry, who were sentenced to prison terms of up to life.
Mehrjui was best known for his 1969 metaphorical drama “The Cow” as well as his 1990 dark comedy “Hamoun” showing 24 hours in the life of an intellectual tormented by divorce and psychological anxieties.
The couple were laid to rest on Thursday in the artists’ section of the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery in southern Tehran, according to state news agency IRNA.
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