Iranian authorities say they have arrested the “primary murderer” of renowned Iranian film director Dariush Mehrjui and his wife, Vahideh Mohammadifar, semi-official media reported.
The 83-year-old Mehrjui and Mohammadifar were stabbed to death over the weekend in their home in Karaj, near Tehran.
Mehrjui is known as cofounder of Iran’s film new wave in the 1970s that mainly focused on realism. His wife was a screenwriter and costume designer.
Their slayings have caused shock and outrage among Iranians, with many of them drawing parallels with political assassinations that have rocked the country over the past decades.
Tasnim news agency, which is close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), quoted police spokesman Saeed Montazer-al-Mahdi as saying on October 19: "Moments ago, the primary murderer, who had previously been taken into custody by the police, confessed after undergoing technical procedures."
"We can now confirm with confidence that the individual responsible for the deaths of this artist and his wife is now in custody," he added.
Justice in Iran is seriously flawed, with suspects being routinely forced to “confess” to crimes they didn’t commit and facing deeply unfair trials.
The police spokesman also said that investigators are now seeking to identify potential accomplices, adding, "In the near future, we intend to reconstruct the crime scene and provide additional information."
The previous day, the funeral of Mehrjui and Mohammadifar in Tehran was attended by many of the country's most well-known artists.
Slogans such as "Women, Life, Freedom" and "Murderers, murderers should be disgraced" were chanted, highlighting the grief and defiance running through the crowd.