Women who attend work for the local council without being suitably veiled can expect to be sent home without pay, the governor of Fars province has said.
Speaking at a meeting of the Fars Province Administrative Council on Sunday evening, Mohammad Hadi Imaniyeh gave all departments of the local authority a deadline of the end of July to deal with “issues related to hijab and covering”.
“Those who cannot operate within the framework,” he said, “should take unpaid leave until they can respect the law.”
This, Imaniyeh said, was meant to be a “benevolent” move: “Everything done in God’s name is out of compassion for the people. If a warning is given, it is to prevent corruption.”
The meeting also covered a program promoting Quran recitation among local government staff, backed by the province’s Public Culture Council. Problems with water and the roads in Fars province, Imaniyeh claimed, would take “400 years” to deal with, but hijab could be enforced in weeks.
Shiraz, the capital of Fars province, has recently seen a renewed clampdown on venues accused of allowing “debauchery”. A number of cafes and bars in the city have been seized and shut down, and the bike-sharing app Bdood has stopped operating.
In what appears to be a targeted attempt to curtail civic freedoms in religiously-important cities, three cafes in Qom province were also closed by police over women’s “removal of hijab” on Sunday
Plainclothes patrols “checking” the attire of men and women have been dispatched in Razavi Khorasan province, where the deputy prosecutor in the capital, Mashhad, has asked for unveiled women to be barred from entering the subway.