Bart Simpson and his family have joined Barbie on a list of dolls to be banned by the Iranian government.
The move against Springfield’s favourite cartoon characters is part of a decades-long crackdown on signs of Western culture in the country.
But bizarrely the fictional U.S. superheroes Superman and Spiderman are being allowed on sale because they help ‘the oppressed’.
‘We don’t want to promote this cartoon by importing the toys,’ said Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults’ secretary Mohammad Hossein Farjoo.
He also told the Shargh newspaper that any doll on which genitals are distinguishable, as well as dolls of adults, are also banned.
As were toys with speakers that blare out the voices of Western singers, or toy kitchen sets that include glasses for drinking alcoholic beverages.
He did not elaborate on what was wrong with the Simpsons – which includes father Homer, mother Marge, and daughters Lisa and Maggie, specifically.
But he added that dolls of Spiderman and Superman were authorised for sale and said: ‘They help oppressed people and they have a positive stance.’
The move follows last month’s decision to close down several shops in capital Tehran for selling Barbie dolls.
The dolls, created in 1959 by American toy manufacturer Mattel Inc, were officially banned in the mid-1990s.
They were criticised for wearing swimsuits and miniskirts in a society where women must wear head scarves in public, and men and women are not allowed to swim together.
Despite the ban, the doll had until recently been openly on sale.
Authorities had initially launched a campaign of confiscating Barbie dolls from toy shops in 2002, denouncing what they called the un-Islamic characteristics of the uniquely American doll.
But the campaign was eventually dropped.
Islamists have repeatedly tried to fight what they see as a Western cultural ‘invasion’ since 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted a pro-Western monarchy.
But despite bans on many books, movies, satellite TV channels, music, haircuts and fashion from the West, many young people follow Western culture avidly and can often obtain illegal products on the black market.
In 2011 Iran imported $57 million worth of toys. Officials believe some $20 million more worth of toys were smuggled across the border the same year.
One-fourth of Iran’s population of 75 million is under 15 years old.