Iran to get tough on Barbie sellers
Tehran - Iran's police have vowed to crack down on stores that defy a ban on selling US-made Barbie dolls, considered contraband in the Islamic republic, the Mehr news agency reported on Friday.
"Stores that are selling these dolls are committing an offence and the police will act against them," an unnamed police official was quoted as saying.
"Dozens of stores that have sold these Barbie dolls have been closed and that will continue," the same source said.
Iran will press on with its campaign against "the signs of permissive Western culture and in this new phase will seize the Barbie dolls", Mehr reported.
For several years, Iranian police have waged campaigns against the popular dolls, made by US toy maker Mattel.
Though banned in Iran, the plastic figurines are sold illegally in toy shops, and some grocery stores.
Several years ago, Iran launched its own national brand of dolls, named Sara and Dara, designed to replace domestic demand for the US-made original.
Iranian authorities regularly denounce the influence of Western culture, including the abundance of satellite dishes that allow citizens to watch foreign television programmes.