The Iranian regime has decided to further curtail dissident opinion among its youth. A few days after cultural authorities “issued guidelines for permissible male haircuts,” it was announced that Iran “will send 1,000 religious clerics into schools in Tehran to tamp down Western influence and political opposition.” Simultaneously, it has been reported that the Iranian regime looks to strengthen its foothold on the internet and produce more pro-government blogs. Nazila Fathi reports for the New York Times:
The newspapers quoted the deputy director of Tehran’s education department, Mohammad Boniadi, as saying that the clerics would start work at schools in the capital in September to make students “aware of opposition plots.”
Mr. Boniadi did not say what grade levels would be affected, but a similar plan was put into place in elementary, middle and high schools immediately after the 1979 revolution. At that time, thousands of “morality teachers” were sent to schools to promote the government ideology.
The latest move appeared to be part of a wider social and cultural crackdown on the country’s youth. It is one of several measures the government has taken to expand its influence at schools since last summer when, after a disputed presidential election that the opposition claims was stolen, the Islamic government faced some of the worse protests in three decades.
Last month, the government reinstituted its ban against teaching music in schools, which was imposed after the revolution but had been lifted in recent years, the semiofficial ILNA news agency reported. […]
Authorities also announced they were training pro-government forces to start blogs to increase the government’s influence on the Internet, the Fars news agency reported. More than 18 million people use the Internet in Iran, according to figures from the government, which has blocked hundreds of pro-reform Web sites and arrested dozens of bloggers.
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