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“The truth is that most satellite channels deviate the society’s morality and culture,” said General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, head of Iran’s paramilitary Basij (Guardians of the Islamic Revolution) force, as its members drove bulldozers over an estimated 100,000 confiscated satellite dishes in Tehran.
“What these televisions really achieve is increased divorce, addiction and insecurity in society,” he added, at the June 24th event. Satellite television equipment is banned under the law in Iran, punishable by a fine of up to $2,800 (€2,500).
Culture Minister Ali Jannati says most Iranians own satellite equipment in violation of the law, which he called to amend so as to shut any loopholes.
Local estimates suggest that 70 per cent of Iranian homes have satellite dishes installed.
However, President Hassan Rouhani, whose 4 year mandate ends next year in June 2017, has repeatedly said that the ban on satellite dishes is unnecessary and counterproductive.