Mattel Inc, the U.S. maker of Barbie dolls, said this week it will release a special two-doll set in April to mark the one-year anniversary of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding at Westminster Abbey. (Photo: Mattel/Reuters)
As the West imposes the toughest ever sanctions on Iran and tensions rise over its nuclear program, inside the country the Barbie ban is part of what the government calls a “soft war” against decadent cultural influences.
“About three weeks ago they [the morality police] came to our shop, asking us to remove all the Barbies,” said a shopkeeper in a toy shop in northern Tehran.
Iran’s religious rulers first declared Barbie, made by U.S. company Mattel Inc, un-Islamic in 1996, citing its “destructive cultural and social consequences”. Despite the ban, the doll has until recently been openly on sale in Tehran shops. (Photos: Reuters)