Six thousand satellite receivers and dishes have been destroyed in a stadium in the city of Shiraz, according to reports by Iranian news agencies that posted photos of the police action, in the latest phase of Iran’s ongoing war on banned satellites.
The dishes were decorated with slogans highlighting all the ills and threats that Iranian officials claim satellite channels bring into society.
“Rule of Satan on Life,” read one of the hand-written slogans.
Others included “Enemy of Islam,” “Enemy of the Family,” “Spread of Prostitution,” “Drug Addiction,” “Lies,” “Insecurity,” and “Death to Zionism.”
Iranian authorities regularly crack down on satellite dishes by raiding homes, dismantling their equipment, and fining the homeowners. Iran also jams foreign broadcasts.
In September 2013, Iranian news sites reported that the Revolution Guards (IRGC) used a tank to crush dozens of satellite dishes and receivers in Shiraz in a symbolic move against Western cultural influence.
Despite all their efforts and warnings, officials have acknowledged that the use of satellite dishes to access news and entertainment channels has been on the rise.
Last year, Ezatollah Zarghami, the head of Iran’s state broadcasting entity at the time, said that 40-50 percent of Iranians use satellite dishes.
According to Culture Minister Ali Jannati, in the Iranian capital, Tehran, 70-80 percent of citizens watch satellite channels.