Iranian TV Bans Shirtless Men, Provocative Love Stories

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The ban, instituted at the urging of Islamic religious leaders, also discourages showing men and women mingling in the workplace.

Iranian state TV just got way less sexy with a new ban on "half-naked men" and provocative love stories.

The Associated Press reports that Iranian state TV has had a long-standing ban on showing images of women not covered head-to-toe in approved Islamic dress. But the new restrictions extend that to men who might appear shirtless on TV.

Islamic religious leaders pushed for the new ban, which also discourages producers from showing showing men and women in close proximity to one other at places like the office, weddings or parties.

The ban on provocative love stories, which includes love triangles, is thought to stem from the popularity of the recent Iranian soap opera, Forbidden Fruit, which featured a story about an older man who leaves his wife for a younger woman.

Iranian satirist Pouria Alemi wrote a column Tuesday in the pro-reform newspaper Eternaad mocking the decision and pointing out that the only men shown shirtless on TV are in wrestling and swimming competitions.

Many Iranians can see shows produced outside Iran, however, through the aid of satellite dishes, which are illegal in the country.