In its latest bid to protect traditional Islamic morality from encroaching Western influences, Iran announced it will crack down on rap music it considers "obscene." Rap music in Farsi focusing on social, political and sexual themes is growing increasingly popular on the black market. An official recently condemned rappers for using vulgar words. It's not clear if all rap is being targeted or only particular songs or musicians.
In Iran, artists need government permission to record an album or perform a concert. Although some songs are approved, many are created and circulated underground. Officials of the Ministry for Culture and Islamic Guidance have vowed to "confront" musicians and close illegal studios. They also warn they will "find a solution" to online music distribution.