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Barbie crackdown in Iran

Authorities in Iran have declared war on Barbie amid worsening relations with the US.

The perma-tanned doll has actually been banned in the conservative Islamic state since 2006 for her "destructive cultural and social consequences."

But according to Reuters, toy shops in the country have tended to ignore the veto and Barbies dressed in swimsuits and miniskirts are often found in the capital Tehran and beyond.

Now, however, Barbie's days are numbered as Iranian police go about confiscating models from shops, in a "new phase" of the campaign against the scantily-clad childhood favourite.

The move against "manifestations of Western culture" comes as the US and other countries tighten sanctions against Iran over its contested nuclear programme.

In 2002, Iran did introduce its own, more modestly-dressed, versions of Barbie - named Dara and Sarah - but the real deal remained far more popular among infant consumers.

"My daughter prefers Barbies. She says Sara and Dara are ugly and fat," one mother is quoted as telling Jezebel.

It remains to be seen whether this year's crackdown will be effective in permanently removing Barbie from Iran.

Click here to read about a Facebook group currently campaigning for a bald version of Barbie or click here to see celebrities and their Barbie doppelgangers.

Picture credit: Rex Features

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