Censorship Procedures in the Islamic Republic of Iran (PDF Guide )
Censorship takes many forms in the Islamic Republic of Iran. From regulations establishing specific censorship procedures to extra-legal measures taken by various government bodies, restrictions on freedom of expression occur in a wide variety of situations. The following charts provide a broad outline of how censorship works in a variety of media.
One chart, about censorship in the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), is based on IHRDC’s interview with Siamak Ghaderi, a journalist who worked at the state-run news agency for several years. The chart discussing censorship of books is largely based on IHRDC’s interview with Aliasghar Ramezanpour, a former official with Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Ramezanpour described in detail the administrative processes involved in reviewing books before they receive the Ministry’s approval for publication. The guides about the censorship of films and music are primarily drawn from various media reports on the topics. In both instances, the steps needed to obtain official approval are listed.
It should be noted, however, that the bureaucratic frameworks detailed in these charts only tell a part of the story. Accounts of individuals seeking approval for their literary or artistic productions often demonstrates a system that acts arbitrarily while trying to operate within ill-defined guiding principles.