Kazem Mousavi, deputy chairman of the Iranian parliament's Economic Committee, has said people trying to buy musical instruments in defiance of a ban on imports “can leave Iran”.
Earlier this month Mehdi Mirasharfi, the head of Iran's customs, musical instruments would no longer be imported into the country. Shortly afterward Gholam-Ali Ahankoob-Nejad, head of the Ahvaz Spectacle Manufacturers and Vendors’ Union, announced that sunglasses had also been banned from import and were considered “luxury goods”.
In an interview with Persian media, Mousavi, said of the two abrupt measures: “The import of musical instruments into the country is not in our best interests, because our country is an Islamic republic.
“Why should instruments be imported despite all the martyrs and scholars we have? Musical instruments and accessories aren’t so important that we should spend time, even currency, on them. I don’t think it’s advisable. As servants of the people, the only concern of myself and my colleagues is the livelihoods of the people. If people are looking for musical instruments, or their personal desires are realized in other countries, they can leave Iran."
He also defended the ban on sunglasses, clarifying that it did not apply to those who needed glasses for medical reasons. But in general, he added: “Whether or not there are sunglasses or musical instruments doesn’t make any difference to people's lives."