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Iranian Ayatollah Calls for Ban on 3G Mobile Networks

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An Iranian mobile network has been criticized for offer 3G mobile data services after a religious leader said the downsides of such facilities were greater than their benefits.

Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, who is a spiritual guide for many Shia Muslims said that the new service from Rightel should be shut-down.

In a statement sent to the Tehran Times, he said that:"At the current time, I believe these services have more negative sides than their positive features. Also the country and people are not in urgent need of such features, so it's better if the Iranian government suspends 3G services in country."

Earlier Iranian legislators announced their formal objections to Rightel mobile network. "Cultural issues are very important for us and there should be an efficient filter to censure anti-Islamic calls and communications." a statement issued by Iran's MPs read.

Rightel is a small network in a market dominated by MTN Irancell and the state-owned telco.

Religiously conservative Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi was active during the Iranian revolution but no longer holds office in the government.

The issue of mobile content morals is not limited to Iran. In the UK when 3G services were being launched, a number of churches with base stations installed in their clock towers wanted bans on adult content being broadcast from the antennas on their properties.

On the web: Tehran Chronicle

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Tags: Iran