Iranian sculptor Tanavoli blocked from leaving the country

Famed Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli says he has been barred from leaving the country while trying to travel to London.

The sculptor said in a posting on Facebook that he was prevented from leaving Saturday morning when trying to board a flight out of Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport.

He says he was scheduled to give lectures at the British Museum and Asia House in London. He added that he attempted to resolve the issue at Iran's main passport office "but it was of no use."

Iranian officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Several artists, poets, journalists and activists have been detained in Iran since moderate President Hassan Rouhani's government reached a nuclear deal with world powers last year.