Bibles sold in Tehran despite being labelled 'illegal'
Although the Islamic government of Iran and its security forces have banned Bible distribution, and even possessing a copy is considered a crime, Bibles and other illegal books can still be purchased from street vendors or in old book stores.
According to Mohabat News Iranian Christian News Agency, Naser-Khosro Street is one of the most well-known old streets of Tehran. It's famed across Iran for illegal medication dealers who sell hard to obtain medications for very high prices.
A similar street in Tehran with a different purpose - for buying rare and illegal books - is Enqelab (meaning revolution) street.
Mohabat News reported that a university student studying religion said, for example, "The Satanic Verses" can be found there. The book's author, Salman Rushdie, was called "apostate" by Ayatollah Khomeini and its printing and distribution prohibited ever since.
Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution in Iran issued a Fatwa against Rushdie on 14 February 1989, asking all Muslims to kill him if he was found.
Interestingly, Mohabat News said, the student said they were given information about these bookstores by a professor.
Talking about how easy it is to find illegal books in Tehran, a book collector who buys books for his personal collection told Mohabat News, "You can find books published before the Islamic Revolution without much effort in the collection of old bookstores on Enqelab Street."
Mohabat News said at some point the Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance had announced they would deal with the distribution of illegal books in bookstores.
In addition, Mohabat News said, Iranian Police commander, Esmaeil Ahamdi Moqadam said that police will crack down on book sellers who attempt to sell "illegal books."