Iran’s police force outlined plans on Tuesday for a renewed crackdown against women who they say show off too much of their bodies in the streets of Tehran.
Morteza Talai, Tehran’s police chief, told the semi-official Fars agency: “In our campaign, we will confront women showing their bare legs in short pants.”
“We are also going to combat women wearing skimpy headscarves, short and form-fitting coats, and the ones walking pets in parks and streets,” he said.
Also police will stop “the ones creating noise pollution” by playing their car stereos too loud.
Every post-pubescent female in Iran, regardless of her nationality or religion, is obliged to observe the Islamic dress code and cover her shape and hair whenever outside the home.
Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran’s ruling clerics have been trying to keep women under wraps and away from the risk of “Westoxication”.
“Being un-veiled or badly veiled is an offence. Law enforcement officials can act against it”
According to Talai, 50 patrol cars will be cruising Tehran to implement the measures.
He also said shops selling skimpy clothing would be charged.
Over the past eight years, more and more women have seized on a reformist current in the country and have switched the all-black uniform for figure-hugging and brighter coats.
Headscarves have also been slipping.
But conservatives are now in total charge of the country after June’s election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president who has pledged to restore the values of the revolution.
Jamal Karimi-Rad, the justice minister, said that “according to the Islamic criminal law, women who do not observe the veil can face 10 days to two months imprisonment or a fine”.
“Being un-veiled or badly veiled is an offence. Law enforcement officials can act against it,” he said, but added that offenders could pay a fine of $5.50 to $55 instead of going to jail.
Women will be told to avoid form-
Police crackdowns on skimpy dressers are common every summer, when many women defy the rules by wearing trousers that stop above the ankles, sandals showing off painted toenails, lighter coats revealing their curves and flimsy headscarves.
But press reports say conservatives in Tehran’s city council have put additional pressure on the police to get tough.
Nader Shariatmadari, a council member, was quoted by the Shargh newspaper as saying that “these days a woman has lots of problems buying a proper coat. Women are pushed to buy coats that may as well be blouses”.
“If the shops and manufacturers observe the Islamic law, the problem will be sorted out,” he said.