Authorities have ordered the closure of a ski resort on grounds of immorality. After photographs of the launch party for the Shemshak Night Ski Resort were circulated on social media, judicial authorities announced that the resort would no longer be accessible to the public.

According to Khabar Online, authorities had described the February 5 ceremony to officially open the ski season as “ostentatious” and in “violation of moral codes”. “We certainly do not approve of what happened at the opening ceremony,” Nasser Talebi, advisor to the Minister of Sports and Youth and director of the Ski Federation, told the Iranian Students News Agency. The Ski Federation had not been provided with any details about the event, he said, and if they had been, it would have made its objections clear. “You can be sure that we are already dealing with those who are responsible.” Talebi, who has faced considerable pressure in recent days, rejected claims that the federation should be held responsible for the party.

But the organizer of the event, Keyvan Mohebbi, told the publication Iran Ski that “nothing out of the ordinary” had taken place on the night of February 5 and that the resort, which is located north of Tehran, had followed legal protocol and guidelines. He said he and the resort’s staff had “observed all cultural values and even granted a free of charge ski session to ladies who were properly covered.” He also said that the event had celebrated the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. “In all the years that we have been holding such ceremonies, there have never been any violations of moral codes or  traditions,” Mohebbi said.

But another news outlet, Urmia Online, reported that there was long-standing rivalry among those working in the ski resort business in Iran, particularly in the Shemshak and Dizin regions of the country. It indicated that this “prevalent rivalry” could have had something to do with the closure. After security and judicial officials were alerted to the event’s coverage on social media, the website reported, they took steps to close the resort, which is owned by the Developing and Equipping Sport Facilities Company,

The Ministry of Sports, which oversees activities at the resort, planned to use the site for private events, making it off limits to the public. 


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