Iran 🇮🇷 is a Middle Eastern country that worships Islam.

Under the Islamic Republic rule, press freedom in Iran is essentially nonexistent. Censorship is pervasive.

General censorship[]

Any media seeking distribution in Iran needs the permission of the Ministry of Islamic Culture, which sets an arbitrary set of rules which are subject to the government any time. The rules include any form of pornography or sexual imagery centered on the female form (which is taboo in Islam), political material contrary to the government's goals and any form of communication criticising Islam. These restrictions, however, can be circumvented by physical and internet piracy, satellite dishes and illegal used book markets.

Book censorship[]

  • Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses was banned after the Ayatollah Khomeini considered the book blasphemous, placed a fatwa on the author's life. The book and other Rushdie's works are banned in Iran, even if the Iranian government lifted the fatwa on Rushdie's life in 1998.
  • Reza Khoshnazar's The Gods Laugh on Mondays was banned in Iran after men torched its publication house.

Internet censorship[]

  • Anonymizing proxies
  • Voice of America
  • Orkut
  • Websites advocating political reform
  • Baha'i Faith
  • Atheism and freethought forums
  • Pornography, LGBT, sex education (indicative of SmartProxy filtering)

Movie censorship[]

  • The Cow (Gaav) - this film was briefly banned by the reign of the Shah, due to what was perceived as the film depicting Iran as a rural and culturally backwards society. The film was later allowed to be screened on the condition that the film would begin with a disclaimer explaining to the audiences that the film is set several decades ago and that does not reflect a modern Iran.
  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom - this film was banned due to graphic violence and nudity.
  • Cruising - this film was banned on its initial release.
  • Bita - this film was banned under the Censorship Act of 1981 because of its criticism of exploitation of women by men.
  • Ghaire aze Khoud Hitch Kass Naboud - this film was banned under the Censorship Act of 1981 due to its depiction of a lesbian relationship and a controversy.
  • Gabbeh - this film was banned for being "subversive".
  • A Moment of Innocence (Nun o goldun) - this film directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, about his experience as a teenager when he stabbed a policeman during a protest rally to be then jailed, was banned because of its theme that different people can experience the same incident in a different way
  • The Circle - this drama film by Jafar Panahi was banned in Iran for denouncing the treatment of women in said country.
  • Zoolander was banned for perceived support for gay rights.
  • Ten - this docufiction film by Jafar Panahi was banned in Iran for discussing gender discrimination.
  • Crimson Gold - this film was banned for being "too dark".
  • The Lizards (Marmoulak) - this comedy film, which was the first to joke with the mullahs in Iran, was pulled from cinemas two weeks after its premiere in Iran due to the film mocking conservative attitudes of the clerics in Iran. In 2020, however, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance granted the uncut film a license for screening.
  • Offside - this film by Jafar Panahi was banned due to its subject being women not being allowed to enter football stadiums and thus, being subjected to violence or verbal abuse for doing it.
  • 300 was banned due to the portrayal of the Persians as slavering, inhuman monsters (according to the narrator), as well to its negative portrayal of the Persian military.
  • Not Without My Daughter was banned in Iran for depicting the escape of American citizen Betty Mahmoody and her daughter from her abusive Iranian husband.
  • The Wrestler was considered Western propaganda, as The Ram's (the protagonist wrestler) in-ring rival was named the Ayatollah.
  • Argo was banned for portraying negatively Iran. This was the only Academy Award - winning Best Picture to be banned in Iran.
  • There Is No Evil - this film was secretly recorded and banned from exhibition due to its themes criticising the Iranian government's use of capital punishment. The government also temporarily prohibited the director Mohammad Rasoulof from making films in the country, imprisoned him and prohibited him from travel outside Iran.

Television censorship[]

  • Pat & Mat - In November 2008 on IRIB 2 (which airs the Persian dubbing of SpongeBob SquarePants), an accidental broadcast of the uncensored episode "Vináři" which the two main characters making wine and are seen consuming it, leading to the dismissal of the three employees of the Iranian television as well. In July 2020, it accidentally aired the uncensored version of the episode again on Qom provincial network. The episodes are modified or cut in this version due to inappropriate matters or alcohol scenes.
    • The episode of the said show named “Bazen” (Pool) has been banned for some reasons.
    • The episode “Bodygárdi” (Bodyguards) has been banned from Iranian broadcasting for some reasons.

Video game censorship[]

  • 1979 Revolution: Black Friday - this game, which focuses on the Iranian Revolution of 1979, was banned for presenting "false and distorted information" regarding the revolution, and for being anti-Iranian.
  • Battlefield 3 was banned for presenting a fictional U.S. invasion on Tehran. Even before the ban, many retail stores were removing copies of the game from their shelves.
  • Luck Be a Landlord was banned in Iran from Google Store for violating the gambling policies[1].
  • ARMA 3 is banned due to the game's portrayal of fictional CSAT faction, which includes Iranian soldiers, being an enemy of NATO.
  • Clash of Clans is banned as "promoting violence and tribal conflict". The ban was urged after a report from psychologists claimed the game encourages violence, tribal war and is extensively addictive.
  • Clash Royale was banned to stop violence.
  • Call of Duty: Mobile had its services cancelled by developer Activision for unspecified reasons, but thought to involve United States sanctions against Iran.
  • Pokémon GO was banned for safety reasons.
  • Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni was banned for glorifying homosexual and immoral values. The ban does not extend to the digital distribution, however.

External links[]

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