Iran and Book Censorship


By Alex Kramer (AIC Intern Student)

The Cultural Minister of Iran Ali Jannati has hinted at relaxing book censorship laws. Jannati stated that books that have been denied being published in the past will be reviewed again. Books that have been banned in Iran include: The Last Temptation of Christ, The Da Vinci Code, Girl With a Pearl Earring, The God Delusion, and the Satanic Verses written by Salaman Sushdie. The Satanic Verses is considered one of the most infamous books in the Muslim world and is unlikely to be published in Iran. Lyrics from western songs, poems, and short stories have been subject to censorship as well.

But optimism is abounding after Jannati stated that “books subject to censorship or denied permission to be published in the past will be reviewed again and new decisions will be made. Our approach towards freedom of the press and books, as well as relaxing the atmosphere for writers and thinkers is different from the past and its results will gradually become apparent.” President Rouhani has also stated that he is committed to ensuring that Iranians will be able to access more information on the Internet. It has been estimated that Iran has blocked over five million websites.

This article is part of Insider & Insight, a new AIC program aimed at providing different perspectives and analyses on key developments in US-Iran relations. The commentary and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not reflect the official position of American Iranian Council.