One of Iran's most important film-makers, Dariush Mehrjui, was stabbed to death on Saturday evening alongside his wife at their home near Tehran, the judiciary said on Sunday.

The 83-year-old was indelibly associated with the Iranian new wave of cinema, having made "The Cow" in 1969, one of the movement's first films.

"During the preliminary investigation, we found that Dariush Mehrjui and his wife, Vahideh Mohammadifar, were killed by multiple stab wound to the neck," said Hossein Fazeli-Harikandi, chief justice of Alborz province, near Tehran, according to Mizan online news agency.