An Iranian education official cited fears of a “cultural invasion” as a reason for banning the teaching of English at the primary school level, the BBC reported Monday.
The announcement comes in the wake of popular protests across the country of poor economic conditions that the regime’s leaders, including President Hassan Rouhani, have blamed on the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Mehdi Navid-Adham, secretary of the Supreme Education Council, told the state-run IRIB news agency that “teaching of foreign languages has not been recommended by any means” at primary-school level, and that teaching English at that level would be deemed a violation even if taught outside of regular school hours.
English will still be taught at the secondary school level, which usually starts at the age of twelve, or in private educational institutions outside of the state system.
The New York Times reported in November 2015 that Iranians who hoped that the nuclear deal would lead to a rapprochement with the West had been “jolted with a series of increasingly rude awakenings,” including increased anti-American activity and a further erosion of rights. The report was prompted by the arrests of several prominent Iranian journalists and businessmen with ties to the United States.
In December 2015, Iran announced the ban of importing some 200 U.S. made products.
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Khamenei.ir]