Sean Stone, the son of award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, converted to Islam on Tuesday during a ceremony in the Iranian city of Isfahan.
Taking the name “Ali,” Iranian news agencies report that the 27-year-old has converted to Shia Islam, which is practiced by the majority of Iranians.
The son of a half-Jewish father and Christian mother, Stone told AFP today that his conversion “is not abandoning Christianity or Judaism, which I was born with,” but shows “I have accepted Mohammad and other prophets.” He has not, however, explained his reason for converting.
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Reuters reports that Stone is in Iran working on a documentary following his earlier co-launch of a film production company in the country. He also attended a panel on "Hollywoodism and Cinema" in Tehran last month, according to Britain's Daily Mail.
Last fall, Stone traveled to Iran to work on a film about the famed Persian poet Rumi, Foreign Policy reports, during which time he voiced support for the country’s controversial president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad has questioned the veracity of the Holocaust and legitimacy of the state of Israel. Stone has also said he support’s Iran’s right to a nuclear program.
Western countries accuse Tehran of trying to use its nuclear program to make a bomb. Iran says its nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes.
Stone’s announcement comes amid increasing tensions between Iran and Israel, with Israel accusing Tehran of being behind a series of explosions in Thailand on Tuesday. An Iranian national has been detained over the incident.