Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the commander of Iran’s Basij force has announced
the creation of a new body called “The Organization of Basij and the Media," which he said aims at increasing the activities of the Basij force in the media scene. Naghdi, however denied that the Basij is aiming to control the media.
Naghdi made the announcement earlier this week at a meeting called “Basij and Media,” in which he blasted “false” cartoon characters, namely Spiderman, and suggested that characters who promote the authority of the Islamic Republic should be used in television programming instead.
The commander of the Basij force seemed to be suggesting that Spiderman and similar cartoon characters are part of what Iranian authorities describe as a “soft war” against the Islamic Republic.
“Today, we are engaged in a unique and historical war with the enemy in the frame of a soft war,”said Naghdi, who expressed concern that the whole Iranian establishment is not doing more to fight the so-called "soft war."
-- Golnaz Esfandiari
P.S. - While I was writing this blog, I thought about a five-year-old relative of mine in Tehran, who has asked me to buy him a Spiderman T-shirt and backpack for his birthday. He is likely to disagree with Naghdi regarding his favorite hero.