Iran TV pulls game shows amid religious gambling row
Iranian state TV has temporarily banned the country's equivalent of Who Wants to a Millionaire after complaints by senior clerics and conservatives.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that game-shows endanger the "culture of hard work and productivity" that the country seeks to encourage.
Now a senior Shia cleric has issued a fatwa (an Islamic religious ruling) against shows like Be a Winner that offer cash prizes.
Gambling is banned under Islamic law.
Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi's fatwa targets shows that offer cash rewards to viewers and participants.
Makarem-Shirazi called them a form of "gambling" and "games of chance" and stressed that they were forbidden under Islamic law.
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The show, hosted by actor and model Mohammad Reza Golzar, gives contestants the chance to win up to 1bn Iranian rials (about $25,000) and allows audiences to win money by participating at home via an app.
News agencies criticised state-broadcaster Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) for "running a halal casino" by running these lottery-style competitions for viewers.
The IRIB said it was launching an enquiry into TV shows that engage in similar practices.
Media in the country reported that Be a Winner would be off the air for at least a week, while state television executives said they would work to change the show's sponsorship.
Another Millionaire-style show, Five Stars, also told fans on Instagram that the show would not be broadcast his week, but offered no further explanation.
Conservative outlets called for far-reaching consequences to what they called an "embarrassment" and suggested the head of the channel that airs Be a Winner should be fired.
Iran has experimented with a number of programmes adapted from American and European formats, including a Britain's Got Talent equivalent which is called New Age.
Reporting by BBC Monitoring's Daniel Amir