According to the Iranian government in Tehran the military has destroyed 100,000 illegal satellite dishes and receivers because most satellite channels "...deviate the society's morality and culture," according to General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, head of Iran's Basij militia who was interviewed by Basij News. Under Iranian law, satellite equipment is banned and those who distribute, use, or repair them can be fined up to $2,800 (2,500 euros).
Iranian police regularly raid neighborhoods confiscating dishes from the rooftops. The destruction was conducted in the form of a ceremony as General Naghdi warned of the impact that satellite television was having in their conservative country. He mentioned that TVs' satellite channels cause an increase in divorce, addiction and an insecure society. This nationwide showdown is a crackdown on illegal devices that authorities say are morally damaging.
It is reported that a total of one million Iranians had voluntarily handed over their satellite equipment to the authorities.
There is a person that is questioning the law, Culture Minister Ali Jannati. He pleaded on Friday for a revision of the law as he stated, "Reforming this law is very necessary as using satellite is strictly prohibited, but most people use it. This means that 70 percent of Iranians violate the law by owning satellite dishes."
President Hassan Rouhani, described as a moderate, and whose four-year mandate ends in June 2017, has repeatedly said that the ban on satellite dishes is unnecessary and counterproductive.
Naghdi countered Jannati's comments and remarked those in charge of cultural affairs, "Should be truthful with people rather than following what pleases them. Most of these satellite channels not only weaken the foundation of families but also cause disruptions in children's education and children who are under the influence of satellite have improper behavior." Conservatives regularly denounce the channels as an attempt to corrupt Iranian culture and Islamic values.
Dozens of foreign-based Farsi satellite channels broadcast mostly news, entertainment, films and series.