- Politics and Social Issues
Iran Outlaws Satellite Dishes
The culture police are alive and well in Iran. Iran has now made it illegal to buy, sell, or have a satellite dish depriving millions of access to local and universal channels. The intent of the new law is isolating the general population even more from the world. They already control access to the Internet and its content. The government stated that satellite dishes ruin and pervert the Iranian culture with Western influences not acceptable any longer. For years, millions of Iranians have used them to watch channels from Europe and America.
Despite the police and para-military forces going around the city of Tehran in search of the dish and then removing them, the Ministry of Culture admits that over 70% still are breaking the law. The ban will prevent dozens of Farsi language channels as well.
Internally, the Ministry of Culture and the ruling President of Iran are in total disagreement. President Rouhani has publically said that banning them is unnecessary and counterproductive. Yet, powerless to prevent other factions in the government to stop it. This reflects the true nature of the Iranian presidency has having little real power.
The new law now makes it illegal to use or own or buy a satellite dish and those that ignore the law will have to pay $2800 in fines. The law is making an impact- over one million Iranians have turned over their dishes out of fear and the militia has destroyed over 100,000 of them so far.
Western influence among the 30 million under age 35 has been well established in Iran, especially Tehran, where those under 25, are not afraid to bend the Islamic arbitrary laws and customs between men and women to more Western culture. Americans and Europeans and their products are well liked over the inferior Chinese products.
If 70% of the population still is breaking the law, the Iranian police have their hands full.