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In the 1990s, Iranian officials decided to produce and promote a "decent" pop music to compete with the informal mainstream Persian pop music, mostly produced in California. Ali Moallem and Fereydoun Shahbazian headed a council at IRIB that supervised the revival of domestic pop music. Singers such as Shadmehr Aghili, Khashayar Etemadi, Mohammad Isfahani, were among the first singers who got significant support, including promotion by national TV, to produce new pop songs. Domestic pop music received a warm welcome by many people, while it was criticized by the elites as being just superficial. 

Pop music in Iran is subject to strict regulation. A permit from the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance (also known as Ershaad) is needed to perform or publish music. Officially, there is a three-year waiting period for each album to get a permit.

As a result of easing cultural restrictions within Iran under president Khatami, a number of Persian pop singers have emerged from within the country. Ever since the current administration took office, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has adopted a different policy, mainly to make it easier to monitor the industry. The new policy included loosening restrictions for a small number of artists, while tightening it for the rest. Even though it has become more difficult for artists to get an album permit, the number of album releases has increased nonetheless. This is because artists have starting asking permits for their next album, even if they have not received one for their previous album.

At the end of 2009, Sirvan Khosravi was the first domestic Iranian artist to get high-rotation airplay on a regular radio station in Europe. He made his debut with the title song of his second album Saate 9 which also made headlines in the Iranian on-line media.Late August 2010, Farzad Farzin made his European chart debut with the second song Chikeh Chikeh from his third legal album Shaans.

Some major contemporary Persian pop artists in Iran include:
•    Ehsan Khajeh Amiri
•    Ali Lohrasbi
•    Sirvan Khosravi
•    Farzad Farzin
•    Benyamin Bahadori
•    Mohammad Esfahani
•    Alireza Eftekhari
•    Alireza Assar
•    Reza Sadeghi
•    Shadmehr Aghili
•    Mohsen Yeganeh

Aryan Band, the first Persian Pop music band, was formed after the Iranian revolution and have had huge success since then. Aryan band started a new chapter of Iranian pop music. Their debut album, "Gole Aftabgardoon" (The Sunflower) was released in 2000. The album had huge success in Iran.

Classical and orchestral music is still popular in Iran and is not subject to the strict regulation that Pop, Rock or Rap music still receives. The yearly Fajr Arts Festival showcases some of the new and most popular artists now living in Iran.

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