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Iran Shuts Down Shops Selling Barbie Dolls: Report

An Iranian news agency is reporting police have closed down dozens of toy shop for selling Barbie dolls. The stated aim is to fight Western cultural influence.

Greg Baker

The Friday report by semiofficial Mehr news agency quotes an unnamed police official as saying police also confiscated Barbie dolls from toy shops in Tehran in a "new phase" of its crackdown.

Since 1979 Islamic Revolution, Islamists have repeatedly tried to fight what they see as a Western cultural "invasion."

A ban on sale of Barbie dolls, designed to look like young Western women, was imposed in the mid-1990s.

Despite bans on many Western books, movies, music, haircuts and fashions, young people maintain their interest in Western culture.

Even Iran's state TV broadcasts several Western and Hollywood films every week.

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