Wine, foreign animals find no place in Iranian books

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Tehran, Jan 22: With an aim to protect Iran from 'western onslaught, the culture ministry has decided to ban the use of word "wine" and the names of foreign animals and dignitaries in books.

"When new books are registered with us, our staff first have to read them page by page to make sure whether they require any editorial changes in line with promoting the principles of the Islamic revolution, effectively confronting the Western cultural onslaught and censoring any insult against the prophets," said Mohammad Selgi, the head of book publishing at the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance.

Wine, foreign animals censored in Iran

"Words like wine and the names of foreign animals and pets, as well as names of certain foreign presidents are also banned under the new restricting regulations," added he, reported the Telegraph.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, has urged the culture ministry to "focus on producing appealing books and films, designing video games, and developing attractive and meaningful toys" to counter a "Western cultural invasion of Iran that seeks to destroy Islamic identity".

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Mr Selgi told Shiraze, an Iranian monthly, that the "ideological viewpoint" of "clerics" must be "taken into account when we issue a permit for a book to be published".

Once an ancient and major producer of wine in the Middle East, alcohol has been banned in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. But consumption is still widespread.

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