Reportedly, after the launch by Iran's third-mobile phone operator, Rightel, Iranians will have their "first ever 3G Internet services," allowing the customers to do dated things like video conferencing, surfing the web and sending each other pictures. Four of Iran's grand ayatollahs, however, who are not impressed with the 21st century reaching their shores, have issued fatwas against the operator.
"The decadence and corruption associated with [Rightel's] use outweighs its benefits," decreed Grand Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi. "It will cause new deviances in our society, which is unfortunately already plagued with deviances." Ayatollah Alavi Gorghani said that the video-call service would "jeopardize the public chastity" and "inflicts numerous damages" on Iran's religion and political system.
An anti-Rightel website called "Rightel mirage" has been set up by Iran's hard-liners. "Providing everyone with opium and then advising them to use it wisely," reads an op-ed on the site, cautioning against the risks video calls pose to family life.
A petition against Rightel was signed by residents of the religious city of Qom on Feb. 10, the 34th anniversary of the foundation of the Islamic Republic. It said the service would "facilitate access to sin and decadence" and called for "countering widespread infiltration of enemy culture."
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