Enforcement of the Islamic Republic’s dress code is expected to reach a new level as the supreme leader’s representatives across the country wrote a letter to President Ebrahim Raisi on the matter and a Tehran official said the armed forces should be used to help enforce mandatory hijab laws.
“The resources and capabilities of the people, Jihadi forces, media, army, and [paramilitary] Basij forces that were fighting against Covid-19, why shouldn’t they be utilized to combat prostitution and bad hijab?” Mohammad Aghamiri, a member of the capital’s City Council, said during a council meeting on April 4.
Meanwhile, parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf asked police to deal decisively women with a “bad hijab,” saying that Morality Police was an “ineffective and costly” force.
All women in Iran must conceal their hair with a headscarf and wear loose fitting trousers under their coats while in public.
But a growing number of women have appeared in public without a hijab since a young woman, Mahsa Amini, died in police custody in September 2022, triggering nationwide protests demanding more freedoms and women’s rights. Amini had been arrested for allegedly wearing a hijab improperly.
The authorities have repeatedly warned women and girls to respect the Islamic Republic’s dress codes and threatened to punish violators. Many businesses have been shut down due to the failure of owners or managers to observe hijab rules.
"Unfortunately, those responsible for the matter have not done enough to promote hijab and culture of chastity,” said Ghalibaf, who called for distinguishing women “with weak hijab” from those “who violate norms outright.”
Also on April 4, Mohammad Javad Ali Akbari, Supreme Leader’s Ali Khamenei’s man in the capital, said that the leader’s representatives had written a confidential letter to Raisi about “the state of chastity and hijab.”
The content of the letter has not been made public.
But Akbari said that "the relevant organs of the system are concerned and busy working to promote a chaste lifestyle."
“The enemy wants to turn this issue into a factor for polarization among the people and create differences among the revolutionary forces," he added.
Khamenei addressed the issue of compulsory hijab in a meeting with government officials, calling it a “Sharia and legal restriction."
According to the supreme leader, "many individuals who oppose hijab are unaware of the political implications of their actions. If they knew, they wouldn’t do it."