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Valentine cards and gifts banned in Iran

By Lynn Curwin     Jan 2, 2011 in World
Images of hearts, flowers and Cupid won’t be seen in shop windows in Iran this year, as producing and selling items related to Valentine’s Day has been banned in that country.
Giving cards and gifts on Valentine’s Day has increased in popularity in Iran during the past few years but the Islamic regime is prohibiting this as part of its efforts to stop the spread of Western culture.
According to the Al Arabiya News Channel, the Iranian Labour News Agency reported: “In the run-up to Valentine's Day on February 14 the printing works owners' union issued a directive banning the printing and distribution of any goods promoting this day.
"Printing and producing any goods related to this day including posters, boxes and cards emblazoned with hearts or half-hearts, red roses and any activities promoting this day are banned.
"Outlets that violate this will be legally dealt with.”
Chocolate, flowers, perfume, teddy bears have become popular gifts to give on Valentine’s Day and shops are decorated with themed items. Many young people also go out to dinner at restaurants.
Saudi Arabia previously took steps to halt celebrations on February 14.
Last year the Saudi Gazette spoke with a shop owner who had heard that authorities and the General Presidency of the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice would inspect chocolate and flowers shops on February 14 to ensure Valentine items – such as red roses, heart-shaped products and gifts wrapped in red - were not being sold. Shop keepers planned to keep such items of out sight around that date. The items are legal at other times of the year.
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