The only hero of this piece is Ali Rahbari, the conductor of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra. Rahbari conducted Beethoven's 9th Symphony and then proceeded to get out of the country. Revisionists would do well to condemn Ahmadinejad and his regime. Those who would ban music and disallow freedom of religion and freedom of speech should always be denounced. Ahmadinejad is not the sort of "friend" revisionists need or should accept.
Iran Revives Broadcast Ban on Western Music
By Nasser Karimi
Tuesday, December 20, 2005; Page A25
TEHRAN, Dec. 19 -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has banned all Western music from Iran's state radio and TV stations -- a throwback to the 1979 Islamic revolution, when popular music was outlawed as "un-Islamic" under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The official IRAN Persian daily reported Monday that Ahmadinejad, as head of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, ordered the enactment of an October ruling by the council to ban all Western music, including classical music, on state broadcast outlets.
Ahmadinejad's order means the state broadcasting authority must execute the decree and prepare a report on its implementation within six months, according to the IRAN Persian daily.
Earlier this month, Ali Rahbari, conductor of Tehran's symphony orchestra, resigned and left Iran to protest the treatment of the music industry in Iran.
Music was outlawed by Khomeini soon after the 1979 revolution. Many musicians went abroad and built an Iranian music industry in Los Angeles.
But as revolutionary fervor started to fade, some light classical music was allowed on Iranian radio and television; some public concerts reappeared in the late 1980s. Since Khomeini's death in 1989, pop music has been creeping into Iranian shops.
In the 1990s, particularly during the presidency of reformist Mohammad Khatami starting in 1997, authorities began relaxing restrictions further. These days in Iran, Western music, films and clothing are widely available. Bootleg videos and DVDs of films banned by the state are widely available on the black market.
The ban enacted by Ahmadinejad applies to state-run radio and TV. But Iranians with satellite dishes can get broadcasts originating outside the country.