The Iranian government has destroyed over 100,000 satellite dishes because cable channels “deviate the society’s morality and culture,” an Iranian general said Sunday.
General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the head of Iran’s Basij militia who presided over the destruction of the dishes, claimed that “what these televisions really achieve is increased divorce, addiction and insecurity in society.”
According to Naghdi, more than one million Iranians have voluntarily turned in their satellite dishes and receivers to come into compliance with a law that fines Iranians $2,800 for distributing, using, or repairing the devices.
Owning satellite equipment is forbidden under Iranian law, and police often confiscate satellite dishes. Nonetheless, Culture Minister Ali Jannati estimated on Friday that 70 percent of Iranians own dishes.
The destruction of the satellite equipment appears to be one more effort by the Iranian government to control the flow of information to its citizens. The government threatened last week to ban iPhones last week unless Apple registered a store in the country. Activists have warned that registering with the government could lead to state-sponsored hacking. In May, Iran threatened to shut down messaging apps unless the companies kept all the data in the country, leading one activist to express concern that such an arrangement would allow authorities to “delete what they want and arrest who they want.”
[Photo: Matthew Colvin de Valle / Flickr ]