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Iran bans Western music on radio
George Michael, Eric Clapton and Kenny G will no longer be heard on Iranian airwaves after the president issued a decree banning Western music from the country's radio and TV stations.
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2005 07:11 GMT
Ahmadinejad aimed to confront 'Western cultural invasion'
George Michael, Eric Clapton and Kenny G will no longer be heard on Iranian airwaves after the president issued a decree banning Western music from the country's radio and TV stations.

The official IRAN Persian daily reported on Monday that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as head of Iran's Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council, ordered the enacting of an October ruling by the council for Western songs to be banned.

"Blocking indecent and Western music from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting is required," according to a statement on the council's official website.
 
Ahmadinejad's order means the IRIB must execute the decree and prepare a report on its implementation within six months, according to the newspaper.

Iranian guitarist Babak Riahipour described the move as "terrible".

Riahipour's music was occasionally played on state radio and television.

"The decision shows a lack of knowledge and experience," he said.
 
Reformist-led rule

Songs such as George Michael's Careless Whisper, Eric Clapton's Rush and Hotel California by the Eagles regularly accompany Iranian TV and programmes, as do tunes by saxophonist Kenny G.

The media ban includes
censorship of film content 

After eight years of reformist-led rule in Iran, Ahmadinejad won office in August on a platform of reverting to conservative principals promoted by Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Since then, he has jettisoned Iran's moderation in foreign policy and pursued a purge in the government, replacing pragmatic veterans with former military commanders and inexperienced religious figures.
 
Ahmadinejad also promised to confront what he called the Western cultural invasion and promote Islamic values during his presidential campaign.

Film censorship

Western music, films and clothing are widely available in Iran, and hip-hop tunes can be heard on Tehran's streets, blaring from car speakers or from music shops. Bootleg videos and DVDs of films banned by the state are widely available on the black market.

The latest media ban also includes censorship of content of films.

"Supervision of content from films, TV series and their voice-overs is emphasised in order to support spiritual cinema and to eliminate trite and violence," the council said in a statement on its website explaining its October ruling.

The council has also issued a ban on foreign movies that promote "arrogant powers," an apparent reference to the United States. 

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