An Iranian actor has returned to screens as a man after transitioning.

Saman Arastu, who was previously known as Farzaneh, had a strong career as a woman, playing television and film roles.

Now, the 42-year-old has taken advantage of Iran’s liberal laws on gender reassignment after years of counselling and has returned to acting.

According to the Guardian, Arastu told an Iranian magazine he had always known he was supposed to be male.

He said: “Now I feel totally well. Previously there was only fear and depression in my eyes. I was always hiding myself and justifying myself.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Iran and many gays are persecuted.

However, the country takes a very different approach to trans people.

Under Islamic law, they are deemed religiously permissible and the country carries out the second highest number of gender reassignment surgeries in the world, after Thailand.

The state will fund gender reassignment surgery and there is more sympathy for those transitioning to become men.