Speaking at a press conference, culture minister Mohammad-Mendi Esmaeili said that the decision was made by the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control.

Tajikistan is the guest of honor at this year's festival, which opens on Thursday.

Groups from Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Italy, France, Algeria and several other countries will perform during the festival, which will run until February 15.

The groups along with troupes from across Iran will perform over 100 plays during the festival, the president of the festival,Hossein Mosasfer Astaneh,said at the press conference.

''Due to the pandemic, there have been no special theatrical performances in Europe over the past two years, therefore we preferred to focus on groups from that region,'' he noted.

About 20 plays on the Sacred Defense and resistance have been selected to be staged during the festival.

The festival's lineup also features three plays on the health workers during the pandemic. In addition, 32 plays will also tell stories about drug abuse.

Mosafer Astaneh said that the festival will decentralize its performances due to criticism from theater troupes from Other Iranian cities, Accordingly, the central Iranian city of Yazd will host an opening ceremony.

The 39th edition of the Fajr theater festival was organized in 2021 with no international section because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Every year in February, Iran organizes a series of Fajr festivals on film, visual arts, music, theater and sveral other  categoties to celebrate the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Source:Tehran Times