Iran shuts 547 restaurants for playing illegal music, debauchery

Police close venues saying 'observing Islamic principles is one of the police's main missions and responsibilities'.

    Tehran's guidance court also called on citizens to report cases of 'immoral behaviour' [File: Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi/Reuters]
    Tehran's guidance court also called on citizens to report cases of 'immoral behaviour' [File: Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi/Reuters]

    Iranian police have shut down 547 restaurants and cafes in Tehran for not observing "Islamic principles", the capital's police chief has said.

    "The owners of restaurants and cafes in which Islamic principles were not observed were confronted, and during this operation, 547 businesses were closed and 11 offenders arrested," the police's website quoted Hossein Rahimi as saying on Saturday.

    Fars news agency said the operation was carried out over the past 10 days.

    The infractions included "unconventional advertising in cyberspace, playing illegal music and debauchery", Fars reported.

    "Observing Islamic principles is ... one of the police's main missions and responsibilities," the police chief said.

    'Immoral behaviour'

    Also on Saturday, the head of Tehran's guidance court, which deals with "cultural crimes and social and moral corruption", called on Tehran citizens to report cases of "immoral behaviour" by texting a designated phone number.

    "People would like to report those breaking the norms but they don't know how ... We decided to accelerate dealing with instances of public immoral acts," Mohammad Mehdi Hajmohammadi told the judiciary's Mizan Online.

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    Citizens can report instances of those removing their "hijab in cars", "hosting mixed dance parties" or posting "immoral content on Instagram", he said.

    Under the Islamic dress code of Iran, women can only show their face, hands and feet in public, and they are supposed to wear modest colours.

    In early 2018, Iran cracked down on women violating its compulsory headscarf decree, arresting at least 29 individuals, according to Iranian media, and drawing criticism from activists and rights groups. 

    Tasnim news agency had quoted Tehran police as saying that the detainees were arrested for "disturbing public security".

    The mandatory headscarf, or hijab, has been in place in Iran since 1979, after the Iranian revolution and the installation of Ayatollah Khomeini as Supreme Leader.

    SOURCE: AFP news agency