FILE PHOTO: Iranian musicians play with musical instruments at a musical instrument workshop south of Tehran. REUTERS/

By Kayhan Life Staff

Iran has classified musical instruments and sunglasses as luxury items and banned their import, the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), Mehdi Mirashrafi, has said.

“There is an import ban on items listed in Group-4, which also includes musical instruments,” Mr. Mirashrafi said.

Group-4, drafted by the IRICA and Iran’s import and export regulatory body, includes 1,339 commodities with a unique 8-digit tariff code that cannot enter the country under the Economic Resistance Headquarters rules.

Gholamali Ahankoubnejad, the Association of Opticians and Eyewear Manufacturers secretary, recently confirmed that the IRICA had classified sunglasses as luxury items and banned their import.

The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Nov. 28 that the customs and border authorities in the southern port city of Bushehr had withheld a shipment of Yamaha musical instruments which they had initially seized in 2019 because of a ban on the import of musical instruments.

According to several reports, the customs and border authorities have withheld 11 shipping containers full of musical instruments because of the import ban.

Seyyed Kazem Mousavi, the deputy chairperson of the economic committee of the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), has said those who wish to buy musical instruments “must leave Iran.”

“It is wrong to import musical instruments, because our country is the Islamic Republic,” Mr. Mousavi said in an interview with the Tehran-based Didban Iran news website. “Why should we import musical instruments, given that we have so many martyrs and scholars?”

“Music and musical instruments are not priorities, and we must not invest so much time and foreign currency in them,” Mousavi argued. “I do not believe that we should bring these instruments into the country. People’s livelihood is the principal concern of my colleagues and me.”

“People who wish to buy musical instruments or pursue their interests in other countries must leave Iran,” Mousavi said.

Mousavi described sunglasses as luxury items, arguing that “they are not essential items and, therefore, we do not need to import them. Musical instruments and sunglasses have no impact on people’s lives.”

“There is no problem with people wearing sunglasses if they have a medical reason and a doctor has prescribed them,” Mousavi explained. “They should be able to wear sunglasses as long as the law creates a framework for their use.”

“There is no issue with importing sunglasses if there is a good reason for their use,” Mousavi added.

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