Fresh Iranian bands ready to rock A music competition aims at introducing new talent in the Islamic Republic. But when you live and work in the Islamic Republic of Iran, there are certain limitations, either subconscious or explicit, on forms of self-expression. Subjects such as censorship, quality, and who should be the judge turned many meetings into lengthy discussions. After the Revolution in 1979 only traditional music bands could perform. When reformist President Mohammad Khatami came to power in 1997, restrictions on live performances were eased. Soon the first Iranian pop bands started to appear on the scene. However, concerts are few and far between and remain strictly controlled.