- Iran has banned the teaching of English in elementary classrooms as the country tries to quell Western influence.
- The Iranian government has blamed the West for provoking the recent mass protests against the country’s regime, which have left at least 21 dead.
- Iran says protests are over, but social media still shows signs of unrest.
Iran has banned the teaching of English in primary school classes.
The announcement follows claims by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that early language learning paves the way for a “cultural invasion” of Western values. The government’s move comes shortly after a week of mass protests against the country’s leaders that have spread to more than 80 towns and small towns and left at least 21 dead.
“Teaching English in government and non-government primary schools in the official curriculum is against laws and regulations,” Mehdi Navid-Adham, head of the Higher Education Council, told state television on Saturday.
Adham added that primary education is crucial in instilling Iranian culture and values in his students.
Khamenei has often criticized the creeping Western influence in the Islamic Republic and expressed deep concern in 2016 over the spread of English in “preschools,” reported The Guardian.
“This does not mean to oppose learning a foreign language, but [this is the] promotion of a foreign culture in the country and among children, young adults and young people, ”he said at the time.
English will still be taught in middle and high schools.
This decision came a few days after widespread protests
The protests in Iran began last week, initially caused by soaring prices for eggs and other commodities, but quickly turned into anti-corruption protests that called on Khamenei to step down.
The Iranian government blamed its Western “enemies” for provoking the protests.
The unrest was “created (…) by the United States, Britain, the Zionist regime (Israel), Saudi Arabia, the hypocrites (Mujahideen) and the monarchists,” reads a statement Iranian Revolutionary Guards on their official Sepahnews website this weekend. “The revolutionary Iranian people along with tens of thousands of Basij forces, the police and the Ministry of Intelligence have broken the chain (of unrest),”
The Iranian government has also shut down access to popular social media channels imported by the West, including Instagram and Telegram. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have been banned since 2009.
The United States has expressed support for the protests in the country and has previously criticized the country’s regime.
And while Iran’s Revolutionary Guards claimed victory over the protests on Sunday, social media is still showing signs of unrest.
According to The Guardian, dozens of unverified videos of Iranian citizens burning their state ID cards and government documents are being broadcast on social messaging apps. reported continued protests in the suburbs of Tehran were posted on Twitter.