Iran blocks Tehran ‘rich kids’ Instagram page

An Instagram account tagged the “Rich Kids of Tehran” is gaining attention. (Photo courtesy: Instagram)

Iran on Thursday blocked access to an Instagram page devoted to the lifestyle of Tehran’s young elite that stirred indignation and spawned a rival site on how the majority live.

“Richkidsoftehran,” created in September on the photo-sharing service, attracted almost 90,000 followers, with its contributors saying they wanted to show another image of Iran from the stereotypes in the West.

 

Young elites are pictured living decadent lifestyles in images that are a far cry from typical media portrayals of the country.

Its photo gallery was filled with Ferraris, Maseratis, luxury watches, expensive homes in upmarket northern Tehran – “all the accessories a Persian boy needs.”



It also showed drink-fuelled parties and girls in Western dress, despite the ban on alcohol in Iran, where women are obliged to wear headscarves.

The account has come under fire due to Iran’s burgeoning unemployment rate and in response a Poor Kids of Tehran Instagram account has been set up.



On Thursday, the Instagram page was blocked because of its “vulgar” content, according to weblognews.ir, a news site considered close to Islamic conservatives in the sanctions-hit country.

“These kinds of shows are for the people who are empty inside and now they want to fill that emptiness by showing off,” read one negative comment on the Instagram page.

Since earlier this month, “richkidsoftehran” also has a page on Facebook, which like Twitter and YouTube is inaccessible in Iran on the grounds that they undermine Islamic values.

Hafte-Sobh newspaper took aim at “a class of young people who stubbornly and with the backup of their wealth, are having fun and live their own special way of life, and the Iranian system cannot touch them.”

Taadol newspaper poured scorn on “a class of nouveau riche who cropped up like mushrooms” during the 2005-2013 presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Government “stocks and corruption allowed the birth of these nouveaux riches in an extraordinary way, especially through commerce,” it said.

The rival site, “poorkidsoftehran,” pokes fun at their rich counterparts. Instead of a Porsche, it features the keys of a Saipa Pride, one of the cheapest cars on the Iranian market.

The unidentified people behind the account responded:

“We Love our city of Tehran. We are in no way trying to put a difference between rich and poor. We are trying to show the world how beautiful Tehran and people from Tehran are. The Middle East is always on TV receiving negative attention and we just wanted to show that Tehran is not like that. This page is in no way political and we never had any bad intentions. We never thought the page would make headlines all over the world. Some of the people featured in this Instagram account don’t live in Iran. #richkidsoftehran #welovetehran.”

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Last Update: 10:53 KSA 13:53 - GMT 10:53
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