TEHERAN – Women in Teheran who repeatedly flout the Islamic dress code in defiance of a police crackdown may be banned from the Iranian capital for up to five years, Teheran’s prosecutor said in comments published on Tuesday.
“˜Those women who appear in public like decadent models endanger the security and dignity of young men,” prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi was quoted as saying by the Etemad newspaper.
In what has become a regular occurrence ahead of the warm summer months, police on Saturday launched a campaign against the growing numbers of young women testing the limits of the law with shorter, brighter and skimpier clothing.
Under sharia, Islamic law, imposed after Iran’s 1979 revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to disguise their figures and protect their modesty.
Violators can be given lashes, fines and imprisonment.
“˜If primary punishments are not effective, repeat violators may receive up to five years exile from Teheran,” Mortazavi said.
Since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the presidency in 2005, promising a return to the values of the revolution, hardliners have pressed for tighter controls on “˜immoral behaviour”.
A Teheran police spokesman said that since Saturday 3,242 people had received a warning for breaching the dress code in the capital, the semi-official Fars news agency said. The code also covers men who are not allowed to wear shorts.
Police have also stopped foreign tourists, who have to respect the dress code, Iranian media reported.
Iran’s judiciary chief criticised the crackdown.
“˜Dragging young men and women to police stations will only have negative social impacts,” daily Etemad-e Melli quoted Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi as saying.