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Iranian Ministry Cracks Down On 'Immoral' Sex Ads

Iran's Ministry for Cultural and Islamic Guidance has demanded that pharmacies remove "immoral" advertisements for products such as condoms and anti-impotence drugs.

The demand came in a letter to the Health Ministry on April 20.

The ministry said any pharmacies continuing to put up such displays face possible closure.

Alireza Karami, the director of the ministry's advertising department, told Fars News Agency that although pharmacies are public places, they often have vivid displays and advertisements of a sexual nature.

Karami also referred in his letter to the vulgar packaging of certain products.

The manager of a pharmacy in Tehran told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that pharmacies do not display immoral advertisements, but selling sexual hygiene items and other products is was part of a pharmacy's responsibilities.

"We offer products such as contraceptives, medications to increase sexual desire, or increase sensation," said the owner, who wished to remain anonymous. "The displays are not there to be vulgar but to educate the buyer."