Saadixing.com, a website that links to news media stories in the country in English, reports on the situation as follows:
“A new law introduced by Iranian Islamic Republic’s parliament on February 7, 2017, prohibits the use and circulation of saffron in Iran, a step toward creating a law by the Islamic republic that will prohibit the use of the sacred colors in official, secular and social media and media in general.”
“Saffron is an Iranian national symbol, a yellowish-orange color that is known for its health properties and many of its ingredients, including saffron and fenugreek. Iran is famous for its saffron, which has been considered the best known spice in the world in recent years.”
In this context, the new law might well be viewed as another attempt to ban the saffron trade, which had already been effectively banned several years ago. A prominent Iranian media expert and activist, Mahmoud Sadeghi, wrote recently in Al-Monitor that the new law was a “sham” and that it would be ineffective.
A representative for the Federation of Small Businesses, which represents several Iranian merchants who sell saffron, did not respond to requests for comment on the ban. But the representative for Iranian Consumers, the agency that lobbies for the Iranian consumer market, has previously asserted that the law would do nothing to prevent sales of saffron.
Saffron has long been a product of Iran’s Islamic Revolution. It was introduced to the country by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, to symbolize Islam’s victory over Western colonialism. As a symbol of revolution, and as a symbol of Iranian national sovereignty, Saadixing.com’s report says, Iran’s current prohibition of saffron trade should be read alongside other policies that prevent the spread of information on the country and of political issues.
A recent example was the Iranian government’s ban of a Facebook group that was dedicated to discussing the ongoing Iranian presidential election. The ban, which was implemented during early October, was announced at a time when Rouhani, who aspires to run for president in 2017, was struggling to overcome a series of technical problems in the final phase of his campaign. A small group of activists organized by the activists for online news monitoring reported on the ban during this period.
The Iranian government already bans access to a range of online news organizations including the United Nations, and the Iranian government is likely
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