'Rich Kids of Tehran' are back on Instagram – but this time they've been forced to clean up their act

Iranian youngsters say the photos of alcohol and girls wearing bikinis were taken abroad

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The Independent Online

Young Iranians who flaunt their luxury lifestyles on social media have started a new account to defend their actions after they were made to shut the original down amid government pressure.

Authorities in Iran blocked the “Rich Kids of Tehran” Instagram account on Thursday after flashy images of parties, alcohol and girls wearing bikinis and revealing clothing were featured.

Sports cars parked outside immaculate white-marble mansions and pool parties among lush green gardens have also attracted the attention of more than 100,000 followers.

However, the prolific posting of more than 300 images in just one month abruptly stopped due to belief that the wealthy fun-seekers were breaching strict Iranian laws.

Rules have required women to cover their hair and dress modestly in public, and for men to dress conservatively, since the 1979 revolution however it is not confirmed if the Instagram photos were taken on public or private property.

Drinking alcohol is also forbidden in the Islamic country but many who can afford it ignore the rules and drink in the privacy of their homes, and the young Iranians claim the photos of wine and cocktails were taken while abroad.

The first post of the new account defended their use of social media as a way of showcasing an alternate view of Iranian culture and society to the rest of the world.

They said: “We have changed the way the world looks at us. People don't use camels for transportation but some choose to use ‘Italian and German horses.’

“We did not have any bad intentions and we are not against anyone. We wanted to show the luxurious side of Tehran to the world. Only thing we did was to post some pictures on Instagram.

“We love our country and like any other country we have rich and we have less fortunate people. Some rich people in Iran come from wealthy families who have been rich for generations. Others simply made their wealth by working hard.”

“Although the page is called richkidsoftehran. Some of the pictures used were taken outside of Iran by Tehranis. Pictures of the drink bottles and bikinis were not taken in Iran.

“All of the young people featured in this account respect the government rules,” they added.

The people featured in their teens and early 20s are believed to be children of Iran’s upper classes, which mushroomed during the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presidency from 2005 to last year.

Their wealth allows them to drive Ferraris, eat at expensive restaurants and party at exclusive nightclubs while their elite connections are said to help protect them from the authorities.

Sara, a young IT consultant told The Times in Iran: “Everyone knows these guys. Most of them have fathers who are untouchable.

“If they get in trouble it will disappear. Others are not so lucky.”

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