Funding woes force Iran's national orchestra to disband

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TEHRAN, Iran — Some musicians say the Iranian national symphony orchestra has been disbanded for lack of funds.

The orchestra members told the semiofficial ILNA news agency today that they have not rehearsed together and have not been paid for three months.

The orchestra was reactivated just last year, after a two-year break.

The step is likely tied to heightening economic woes in Iran because of government mismanagement and Western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear development program. Another key effect of the sanctions has been the collapse of the Iranian currency.

The West suspects that Iran may be heading toward production of nuclear weapons, imposing the sanctions to persuade Iran to drop its uranium enrichment project. Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes.

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