Iran: Authorities destroy 100,000 depraving satellite dishes
July 25, Tehran: Iranian authorities have destroyed 100,000 satellite dishes and receivers as part of a widespread crackdown against illegal devices.
General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the head of Iran's Basij militia, oversaw the destruction ceremony in Tehran on Sunday and warned of the impact that satellite television was having in the country.
"The truth is that most satellite channels... deviate the society's morality and culture," AFP news agency reported him as saying. He said: "What these televisions really achieve is increased divorce, addiction and insecurity in society."
Naghdi said that a total of one million Iranians had already voluntarily handed over their satellite dishes to authorities.
Conservatives regularly denounce the channels as an attempt to corrupt Iranian culture and Islamic values.
According to media reports, Iranian police regularly raid neighbourhoods and confiscate dishes from rooftops, and under Iranian law, satellite equipment is banned and those who distribute, use, or repair them can be fined up to $2,800.
Naghdi criticised Jannati's comments and said those in charge of cultural affairs "should be truthful with people rather than following what pleases them". There are dozens of foreign-based Farsi satellite channels broadcasting mostly news, entertainment, films and series.
President Hassan Rouhani, whose four-year mandate ends in June 2017, has repeatedly said that the ban on satellite dishes is unnecessary and counterproductive.
The Oslo Times International News Network