Public prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi was quoted in the Kayhan newspaper on 7 May 2010 as saying that moral security police had received a tip-off that a group of people were secretly selling tickets, charging people 30 to 35 US dollars to attend a live music performance.
The police entered the venue where this illegal concert was being held with an arrest warrant, and according to the newspaper and the Iranian Students’ News Agency, ISNA, 80 Iranian citizens were arrested in what Dolatabadi termed as “inappropriate outfits and under abnormal conditions”. He also called the concert “a vulgar and unethical ceremony.”
Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi stated: “The files for the 80 young girls and boys, and the charges against five people who were selling the concert tickets, have been forwarded to the office of the Tehran Prosecutor.” They were charged with “participation in a ceremony filled with pleasure and fooling around.”
Radio Farda noted that the Islamic Republic has worked hard to prevent activities by official music groups, calling them “vulgar” as a result of these groups’ underground performances. An official from the Ministry of Culture and Guidance stated that these individuals and groups use music as an excuse to achieve their “unhealthy goals.”
Crackdown on hip-hop, rock and heavy metal
The socially conservative Islamic Republic launched a crackdown two years ago on “indecent Western-inspired movements”, such as rappers and satanists, as part of a widening clampdown on conduct the authorities deem immoral.
The restrictions placed on live music concerts has led Iranians to hold the events in their homes or large gardens outside the city.
In a similar incident three years ago, the Islamic Republic police forces raided an underground rock concert in the city of Karaj (Mohammadshahr) and arrested 230 people.
At that time, media outlets associated with the Islamic Republic had announced that music recording instruments, CDs, low cut dresses, alcoholic beverages, and drugs were found at the concert.
Rap concert raided
JameJam website also reported under the caption “Rap Singers Shut Down by Police” that security officials discovered an internet invitation to a rap concert at a garden in the outskirts of Karaj, in which the invitees were unaware of the exact location and time of the party. The organisers had stated that they would contact those interested in attending about the details at a further date. Once the officials found out about the details, security forces raided the concert with arrest warrants and arrested numerous young citizens who were dressed inappropriately according to Iranian law, or dancing. This was reported by the grassroots blog Persian2English