Iran arrests 12 accused of promoting satanism

Twelve people accused of promoting satanism have been arrested in northwest Iran, a newspaper reported today.

"A number of people in the city of Orumiyeh who engaged in the promotion of satanism through underground music and the production of blasphemous video clips were arrested," the daily Resalat quoted senior police official Kheibar Tiba as saying.

The socially conservative Islamic Republic said last year it would crack down on "indecent Western-inspired movements" such as rappers and satanists.

That move signalled a widening of a clampdown on "immoral" conduct launched in 2007 against women flouting rules dictating that they cover their heads and disguise the shape of their bodies in public, in line with Iran's Islamic system.

In May, security forces arrested 104 "devil worshippers" and seized drugs and alcohol during a party in a southern city. Alcohol and narcotics are illegal in Iran.