Sunday, January 22, 2012
TEHRAN, Iran - Police have closed down dozens of toy shops for selling Barbie dolls in Iran, part of a decades-long crackdown against "manifestations of Western culture," the semiofficial Mehr news agency reported Friday.
Barbie dolls are sold wearing swimsuits and miniskirts in a society where women must wear headscarves in public, and men and women are not allowed to swim together.
A ban on the sale of the Barbies, designed to look like young Western women, was imposed in the mid-1990s. In its latest report, Mehr quoted an unidentified police official as saying authorities confiscated the dolls from Tehran stores in a "new phase" of the campaign.
In 2008, the Iranian judiciary warned against the "destructive" cultural and social consequences and "danger" of importing Barbie dolls and other Western toys. Even so, Iranian markets have been full of them. One-third of Iran's population of 75 million is under 15. (read more)