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Sean Penn has cameo — in Tehran

Actor seen at Friday prayers in Iranian capital
/ Source: Reuters

Hollywood actor Sean Penn, adopting the role of a journalist, scribbled in his notebook as Friday prayer worshippers in Tehran chanted “Death to America”.

Penn, 44, in Iran on a brief assignment for the San Francisco Chronicle ahead of presidential elections on June 17, may be one of the best known faces in film, but he went unrecognised by the 6,000 faithful at Tehran University.

Working with a translator, Penn took copious notes as hardline cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati urged the congregation to vote en masse “to make America angry”.

The actor, who visited Iraq before and after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and wrote an account of his second trip for the Chronicle, told Reuters he had decided to come to Iran because of growing tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The United States accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons and sponsoring terrorism. Iran denies the charges.