REPORTING FROM TEHRAN -- Sorry kids, the Simpsons are now forbidden in Tehran. An agency tied to the Iranian government has banned the sale of dolls of the American cartoon characters, an Iranian newspaper reported Monday.
According to Shargh, an independent newspaper, the Simpsons were banned to avoid the promotion of Western culture, putting Bart and Homer alongside Barbie on an Iranian toy blacklist. Superman and Spider-Man were allowed because they helped the "oppressed," the Associated Press reported.
Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, secretary of policymaking at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, didn't say what was wrong with the Simpsons in particular, but said any doll that had distinguishable adult genitals, or any dolls of adults at all, were banned "because these dolls are promoters of Western culture," the AP reported.
As for Spider-Man and Superman, "though they are dolls and characters in American films, they help oppressed people and they have a positive stance,'' Farjoo told the AP.
-- Ramin Mostaghim
Image: Bart, Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie Simpson of "The Simpsons." Credit: Fox