Famed Iranian poet Behbahani dies at 87

Her poems were used in love songs.

Iranian writers Simin Behbahani, left, and Monireh Baradaran, the 1999 prize winners of the Carl-von-Ossietzky-medal, embrace each other during the award ceremony in Berlin on December 12, 1999. AP
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TEHRAN // Iran’s official news agency is reporting that famed Iranian poet Simin Behbahani has died at the age of 87.

The Tuesday report by IRNA said she died of heart failure and breathing problems. It said she had been unconscious and hospitalised in a central Tehran hospital since August 6.

Iranian singers often used Behbahani’s poems in love songs, but her writing also focused on the challenges facing Iran after its Islamic Revolution in 1979 and women’s rights. In 2010, Iranian authorities barred her from leaving the country to attend an International Women’s Day event in Paris.

Behbahani, who studied law at Tehran University in the 1950s, was awarded the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom in 2009.

* Associated Press