The hardline Iranian president has decided to enforce a ban on Western music – prompting a chorus of discontent. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said state TV and radio should stop playing what aredescribed as “indecent” songs.
The Supreme Revolutionary Council passed the ruling in October as part of Ahmadinejad’s return to the ultra-conservatism of the 1979 Revolution. In recent years Iranians have become used to more relaxed rules on Western-style entertainment. But the new ruling restricts state broadcasters to traditional Iranian music. University student Mehdi Kazemi thinks it will just mean people turn elsewhere to hear their favourites. “If the president’s new ban is effective then people won’t be interested in TV and radio any more, they’ll just tune in to foreign media instead,” he said. One of the artists affected is Babak Riahipour. His compositions have been used on state TV and radio in the past. “I mean, he’s said that it shouldn’t be played on radio or television but we can still get the musc we would like to listen to from somewhere else. We can get it from the internet, we can get it on Tehran’s big black market, anywhere,” he said. Among the artists whose music will be stripped from the playlists are Eric Clapton, The Eagles, and Kenny G.