Iran has banned the teaching of English in its primary schools, a senior education official has said.
Such lessons set the path for a western "cultural invasion", said Mehdi Navid-Adham, head of the state-run high education council.
"This is because the assumption is that, in primary education, the groundwork for the Iranian culture of the students is laid," he explained on state television.
The move has been mocked in Iran, where children usually start learning English between the ages of 12 and 14, while some primary schools and young people from more privileged background often get extra tuition in the language.
Questions over teaching foreign languages have proved divisive at the highest levels of leadership in a country where fears of western influence are keenly felt.
In 2016, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Al Khamenei criticised English being taught to young children before Persian, using a speech to teachers to warn of a "promotion of a foreign culture" targeting Iranian youth.
"Western thinkers have time and again said that instead of colonialist expansionism ... the best and the least costly way would have been inculcation of thought and culture to the younger generation of countries," he said.
But Hassan Rouhani - the Islamic Republic's more moderate president - disputed the Ayatollah's comments, arguing that Iran's young, multilingual population could bring significant benefits for the country's economy.