Iran’s police plans to close down on distributors of the Barbie doll, according to Iranian media reports.
The semi-official Mehr news agency quoted an “informed source” in Iran’s police force as saying that “until now, tens of shops selling Barbie dolls have already been shut down by [police] agents, and the plan will continue.”
“In the eyes of the police, stores that sell these dolls are lawbreakers and will be dealt with accordingly,” the police official warned. He said the plan to rid Iran’s cities of Barbie dolls was part of a campaign to combat “western symbols and promoters of wantonness.”
According to Mehr, the police have already pulled down images of the Barbie doll hanging in toy stores across Tehran.
In March 2009, Iran’s former Chief Prosecutor Ayatollah Dori Najafabadi declared that the Barbie doll and other western toys tend to lead to “destructive and cultural consequences.” In a letter to the vise-president, he wrote that Iran was the world’s third biggest importer of toys, and suggested this posed a threat to the “personality and identity” of the youth.
“The unrestrained entry of this sort of imported toys … will bring destructive cultural and social consequences in their wake,” he declared.
In 2002, authorities introduced Sara and Dara as the Iranian alternatives to Barbie and Ken. Dara and Sara were dark-haired eight-year-old twins, in stark contrast to blonde, buxom Barbie and her boyfriend, Ken.