Campaign poster for 15 journalists imprisoned in late January
2044 GMT:Communications Watch. Four Grand Ayatollahs --- Nasser Makarem-Shirazi, Hossein Nouri Hamedani, Jafar Sohbhani, and Seyyed Sajjad Alavi Gorgani--- have issued fatwas banning Iran's first 3G service Rightel, in part because of its video-call function.
"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.
Rightel, which sponsored Iran’s recent International Fajr Film Festival,,# allows customers to use both video-call and multi-media messaging functions. The company offers pay-and-go, contact, and data-card packages.
Petitions to ban Rightel have sprung up, and 17 MPs have asked President Ahmadinejad and the Ministry of Intelligence to act.