AFP: Iran’s conservative Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi vowed Friday to rein in the media as part of a new clampdown on “wicked manifestations in society”.
TEHRAN, Aug 11, 2006 (AFP) – Iran’s conservative Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi vowed Friday to rein in the media as part of a new clampdown on “wicked manifestations in society”.
The minister said there too many domestic news agencies in the Islamic republic and that their number needed to be reined in to create more quality and less quantity of news output.
He said 11 news agencies were already operating with his ministry’s authorization and another eight were awaiting permits. A further 50 to 60 had also submitted applications to the ministry, he added.
“I have no choice but to restrict the extent of these things, when the investment has been more in quantity than quality,” he said.
Saffar-Harandi said the move would be part of a wider campaign to revive the values of the Islamic revolution in cultural life.
“Unfortunately, we witness inappropriate and wicked manifestations in society today … But now, you have my word that we will purify the cultural atmosphere,” he said in a speech carried live by state radio.
“In the near future, we will not witness an unhealthy cultural product among books, movies, shows, music, etc.”
In a bid to combat the “cultural invasion of the West”, Iran has long imposed a widely flouted ban on satellite dishes.
Production of music, films and books are also subject to supervision by Saffar-Harandi’s ministry.
And since 2000, the hardline judiciary has clamped down on the reformist press, shutting down scores of titles and detaining dozens of journalists.