Iran clerics start taking control of schools

Iran clerics start takin

An Iranian cleric said religious authorities have started taking control of schools, part of a wider ideological drive by hard-liners to wage what authorities call a "soft war" against Western influence. Cleric Ali Zolelm is quoted by the Etemad paper on Wednesday as saying schools in several provinces have been transferred from government oversight to control by Islamic seminaries. Elementary grades are believed to be the focus of the nationwide plan. It was not immediately clear whether higher grades also would fall under clerical control. Iranian officials have already announced plans to appoint a cleric in every school - a move widely seen as an effort to bring stricter Islamic interpretations into the public education system.