Iran Boosts Spending to Promote Koran Culture

A0242474.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday it has boosted spending to promote the Muslim holy book the Koran and revive revolutionary ideals in Iran.

“The current government aims to revive the culture of the early years of the revolution and make the culture of the Koran and mosques a priority,” Culture Minister Mohammad Hossein Safar Harandi told a news conference.

Haranadi said the budget allocated to promote the Koran “has multiplied by 20 times” since Ahmadinejad’s election three years ago, from seven billion rials to 150 billion rials (about 15.8 million dollars).

The annual cultural budget for government spending on mosques has risen from 1.5 million rials (160 USD) per establishment to 20 million rials (2,100 USD), the minister said.

Even though the figure per mosque may appear low, it highlights the government’s will to make religious and revolutionary culture a priority, he said.

The ministry of culture and Islamic guidance oversees all cultural, journalistic and artistic activity in Iran, and is authorized to sponsor cultural work as it deems fit.

Ahmadinejad was elected president in 2005, vowing to promote social justice and restore the values of the 1979 Islamic revolution which toppled the US-backed Shah.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday praised Ahmadinejad’s government for blocking what he called dangerous trends of “Westoxication” and secularism infiltrating the country’s administration

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