Doll's blacklist

Doh! Iran issues ban on Simpsons

Iran has banned The Simpsons dolls in a bid to avoid promoting Western culture, it was reported today.

The iconic cartoon family now join Barbie dolls on the blacklist - although Superman and Spiderman are allowed because they "help the oppressed".

Top government policymaker in the rogue state Mohammad Hossein Farjoo said: "We do not want to promote this cartoon by importing the toys."

He did not elaborate on what was wrong with the Simpsons specifically.

But he noted that any doll on which genitals are distinguishable, as well as dolls of adults, are banned.

So were toys with speakers that blare out the voices of Western singers, or toy kitchen sets that include glasses for drinking alcoholic beverages.

Farjoo said, however, that dolls of Spiderman and Superman were authorized for sale.

He said: "They help oppressed people and they have a positive stance."

The agency is the same that called Barbie dolls a "Trojan horse" in 1996.

In January, police - under the orders of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - said they closed down dozens of toyshops for selling Barbies.

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution that ousted a pro-Western monarchy, Iran has tried to fight Western cultural influence.

Despite bans on many books, movies, satellite TV channels, music, haircuts and fashion from the West, many young people follow Western culture avidly and can often obtain illegal products on the black market.

In 2011 Iran imported £36 million worth of toys. Officials believe some £13 million more worth of toys were smuggled across the border the same year.

One-fourth of Iran's population of 75 million is under 15 years old.

(Published by The Sun - February 6, 2012)

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