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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Iranians Shrug Off Ban on Western Music

TEHRAN, Iran - Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's ban on Western music fell on deaf ears Tuesday, as shop owners and music enthusiasts in the Iranian capital continued selling, buying and listening to everything from hip-hop to country rock.

"This president speaks as if he is living in the Stone Age. This man has to understand that he can't tell the people what to listen to and what not to listen to," said Mohammed Reza Hosseinpour as he browsed through a Tehran music shop.

The shop's owner said he did not expect the president's ban to be implemented.

"Clerics and officials speak about imposing restrictions every other day. I don't think it's going to be enforced," said Reza Sadeghi as he counted some bills he received from the sale of an Eric Clapton tape.

Some say Ahmadinajad is the last nail in the Iranian regime's coffin. Others say he is just a jerk, nobody listens to what he says. I really don't know how much of an impact will he have on Iranian internal politics. The vast majority of Iranians I spoke to tell me that life is as it was during Khatami. I was hoping that Ahmadinajad's actions will revive the youth movement again. Am I hoping for the wrong thing? Or is it too early to tell?

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