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Iran TV bans shirtless men and “love triangles”

Iran’s state television has banned programs featuring provocative love stories or shirtless men in an apparent bow to hard-line Muslim clerics complaining about such scenes in foreign movies, Iranian newspapers reported Tuesday.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranian TV and movie productions have avoided scenes showing the close mixing of the genders, which is discouraged in Iran. Iranian actresses in domestic productions also appear in Islamic dress that covers them from head to toe.

Through illegal satellite dishes, however, many Iranians are able to see foreign TV shows and movies. And some clerics also complain about programs on state TV that show men and women working together in the same offices or otherwise mingling or romantically involved, as well as makeup worn by Iranian actresses in domestic productions.

Reports by several Iranian dailies, including Tehran-e Emrouz, said the state broadcasting company banned such programming on state channels. The ban included specific mentions of “half-naked men” and provocative romantic tales such as “love triangles.”

It also appealed to Iranian producers to avoid images of the sexes mixing at “wedding ceremonies, family parties, work places and celebrations.”

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Iran Sentences U.S. Journalist and Enviromentalis to Eight Years in Prison

Freelance journalist Shane Bauer and environmentalist Josh Fattal have been sentenced to eight years in an Iranian prison for trumped-up charges of espionage and illegal entry into the country. The men were arrested two years ago while hiking near the poorly defined border between Iran and Iraq. Southern California native Sarah Shourd was also arrested, but has since been released.

The men’s families released a short statement yesterday, which reads in part:

Of the 751 days of Shane and Josh’s imprisonment, yesterday and today have been the most difficult for our families. Shane and Josh are innocent and have never posed any threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran, its government or its people.

The three hikers have strong California ties. Shroud grew up in Los Angeles, and lived in San Francisco after graduating from college. Bauer has written for the LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. All are alumni of UC Berkeley.


Read More »Iran Sentences U.S. Journalist and Enviromentalis to Eight Years in Prison