The December 31, 2007 Tehran Times (I read a lot of newspapers) has an article (here) about the acquisition by a British film company of worldwide rights to the Iranian movie "Banana Rind." The film is to premier in February at the 26th Fajr Film Festival in Tehran and will then go into global distribution. It would be interesting to see what the agreement says about U.S. rights since the U.S. does not have copyright relations with Iran, a fact predating Iran's designation as one of the axes of evil, and the current Holocaust-denying regime.
Lacking copyright relations means that works of Iranian origin aren't protected here if published, and transferring rights to a company from a country we do have copyright relations with doesn't matter. Unpublished works (including those that are only exhibited), however, have always been protected without regard to national eligibility, and indeed we have long protected works from authors who do not have citizenship in any country. The most famous instance of this is seen in a work by a man of the greatest evil. In Houghton Mifflin Co. v. Stackpole Sons, 104 F.2d 306, 309-310 (2d Cir. 1939), the Second Circuit extended protection to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf even though Hitler was a stateless person, or more properly a “Staatenloser Deutscher”: born a citizen of Austria, he served in the German army and refused service in the Austrian army. The court of appeals' rationale for its decision presumably was not based on a desire to protect Hitler, but rather authors who were to suffer from mass atrocities Hitler was shortly to commit:
Any other result than this would be unfortunate, for it would mean that stateless aliens cannot be secure in even their literary property. Ture, the problem of statelessness has only become acute of late years, but it promises to become increasingly more difficult as time goes on. The rule contended for by the defendants would mean that the United States, contrary to its general policy and tradition, is putting another obstacle in the way of survival of homeless refugees, of whom many have been students and scholars and writers."