Iran's culture minister says 70 per cent of people in capital watch banned satellite channels

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's culture minister says more than 70 per cent of people of the capital Tehran are watching banned satellite channels.

A Tuesday report by the official IRNA news agency quotes Ali Jannati as saying that jamming the channels, as authorities do, will not be practical in the future when many of them will be available on mobile phones.

Jannati cited a ban on video cassette players in the eighties, calling it ridiculous. He said: "Maybe in five years we will laugh at today's actions."

He urged authorities to work for a solution.

The rare critical remark by Jannati comes as the country undergoes a slight opening since the election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

Over the past years, Iranian authorities have jammed foreign satellite channels, especially VOA and BBC Persian services.

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