Police in Iran have closed down dozens of toy shops for selling Barbie dolls, part of a decades-long crackdown against “manifestations of Western culture,” the semiofficial Mehr news agency reported Friday.
Barbie dolls are sold wearing swimsuits and miniskirts in a society where women must wear headscarves in public, and men and women are not allowed to swim together.
A ban on the sale of the Barbies, designed to look like young Western women, was imposed in the mid-1990s. In its latest report, Mehr quoted an unidentified police official as saying authorities confiscated the dolls from Tehran stores in a “new phase” of the campaign.
Iran has introduced its own dolls — twins Dara and Sara, designed to promote traditional values with modest clothing and pro-family values — but those proved unable to stem the Barbie tide.