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Having made some important concessions on the proposed nuclear fuel swap with Brazil and Turkey, Iran now seems to have compensated by taking a harder line at home ahead of the June 12 anniversary of last year’s election.
Iran signed onto the Brazilian-Turkish deal, marking a significant concession from Iran’s previous position which had demanded the fuel swap take place in small batches, inside Iran’s borders, and simultaneous to the delivery of reactor fuel.
But every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
The Iranian government now is cracking down on public morality and what it calls “bad hijab.”
Last week, Guardian Council member Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati in his Friday prayer called for a crackdown on Iranian women, beginning with government employees and students. He also recommended the students to dress conservatively to get good grades. Ayatollah Ahmad Alam-al-Hoda of Mashhad went on even further, describing badly veiled women as foreign agents.
Morality police squads have now begun to crackdown on people with outfits and hairdos deemed un-Islamic. This time around, though, it’s not just the offenders of the dress code who are targeted, but shopkeepers as well. According to Babylon & Beyond, many clothing stores which sell coats for women deemed provocative by the anti-vice squad have been shut down as well. The vendors were warned by the police to sell only long coats and keep customers with daring outfits out of their stores.
“We were told by the moral security police to go to court and the judge will decide how much of a fine we will have to pay to reopen,” said one shopkeeper. “From now on we can only sell [coats] with a minimum length of 110 centimeters [about 43 inches] and we must not display them in a provocative way. Boys with spiky and fashionable hair and very short sleeves … are not allowed in our shops.”
“Our enemies intend to pull the rug of religion from under the feet of our youth by spreading bad veil in the society,” said al-Hoda. “Anytime badly veiled women and girls sport strong makeup to deviate a young man from the right path, the enemy will be pleased with victory.”
With the nuclear swap deal on the table, festering public discontent, and expectations of public demonstrations to mark the upcoming election anniversary, it seems the Islamic Republic has decided it is in need of another Great Satan: improper hijab.

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