The Republic of Iran has continued its campaign against what it perceives as cultural symbols and artifacts promoting the spread of Western culture in its country.

In January, the government had banned the entire range of "Barbie" dolls.

Now, according to an independent newspaper Shargh, the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults has extended the ban to dolls of characters from the U.S.'s hugely popular animated series "The Simpsons".

Incidentally, action figures of Superman and Spider-Man were allowed because they helped the "oppressed".

The reasons for the ban, although a little vague, seem to center on the fact that "The Simpsons" dolls had distinguishable adult genitals. At least, this is the impression one gets from the Institute concerned. The Secretary of Policy-making at the Institute, Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, in an Associated Press report, added that any dolls with such distinguishable genitalia or, in fact, dolls of adults, would be banned.

The Iranian government has been trying hard to fight off perceived threats from American cultural influences since the 1979 Islamic revolution.