Three cafes in Qom province have been shut down over “mixing” and women’s “removal of hijab”, according to the local PR department for the Revolutionary Guards.
The statement published on Sunday said the sealing-off of the three premises came about as part of a wider drive to “clean up and monitor harmful coffeehouses and cafes”. No fewer than nine teams of local police officers are reportedly involved in the sweep, in coordination with the Headquarters for Enjoining Good and Prohibiting Vice.
The owners of the three cafes, the statement added, had been summoned to the local offices of the NAJA special police unit over the “multiple violations”.
The announcement comes at a time of apparent increased state crackdowns on civic freedoms, particularly those of women, in cities of importance to Shia Muslims. IranWire reported last week on a recent wave of property seizures in Shiraz, Iran’s third most religiously-significant city, where bar owners were said to be permitting “degenerate” behavior.
The city’s bicycle-sharing scheme has also been stopped, and 10 teenagers were recently arrested – and castigated in the press by senior officials – for attending a skaters’ gathering in which some of the girls were not wearing hijab.
Also on Sunday, Iranian media outlets announced the launch of new plainclothes patrols to “check the clothing” of both men and women entering government buildings in parts of Iran, including Razavi Khorasan province.
On Monday, Iran International published a letter in which the head of Mashhad Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office asked the governors of Mashhad to block women from entering the subway if they were not wearing hijab. Metro staff were asked to instead report “unveiled women” to the police.
Gyms Targeted for Instagram Live Broadcasts
The head of Iran's FATA cyber police announced on Sunday that as part of a parallel project, officially named “Identifying and Counteracting Immoral Living", several gym owners have been arrested over Instagram Live broadcasts filmed on the premises.
Ramin Pashaei told ILNA news agency that the operators of sports venues, especially swimming pools, needed to know his organization was monitoring Instagram and “moral corruptors” would be dealt with through the judiciary.
The arrests come at a time when more Iranians have taken up exercising at home, aided by livestreams and online videos, instead of in public spaces due to the cost factor and still-ongoing concerns about coronavirus.