Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reaffirmed on Tuesday the country’s mandatory hijab law, saying that removing the Islamic head covering is “forbidden” as Tehran continues to signal its inflexibility on the issue.
Iran has recently indicated that it will not retreat from its strict dress rules for women. On Saturday, President Ebrahim Raisi said that adherence to the hijab is obligatory. Earlier the same day, state media cited Iran’s judiciary chief, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, as saying that unveiling is “tantamount to enmity with the regime and its values” and that women who do not cover their hair “will be punished.”
The messaging from Iranian officials comes amid an increasing number of women in Iran appearing in public without the hijab after the death in police custody of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.
Khamenei, the highest-ranking authority in the Islamic Republic, was the latest official to stress Iran’s mandatory hijab law, saying that the hijab is a “religious and legal restriction, not a government restriction.”
“Removing the hijab is forbidden religiously and politically,” state media quoted him as saying during a meeting with senior officials.
Khamenei accused “the enemy’s spies” of being behind an anti-hijab campaign in Iran. “Many (women) who remove their hijab do not know this. If they did, they would definitely not do it,” he said.
Amini, an Iranian Kurdish woman, died on September 16 shortly after being arrested by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly breaching the country’s dress rules for women. Her death triggered months of nationwide anti-regime protests during which some women removed and even burned their headscarves. The demonstrations eventually subsided due to a deadly crackdown by the regime.
Khamenei dismissed those protests as a “conspiracy” instigated by Western governments who used women’s rights as an “excuse.” He had previously accused the US and Israel of orchestrating the protests.
Norway-based rights group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said on Tuesday that Iranian security forces had killed at least 537 people in their crackdown on the protests.
Iran made it compulsory for women to wear the hijab shortly after the country’s 1979 revolution. Women who break Iran’s strict dress code risk being harassed and arrested by the country’s morality police. Under this dress code, women are required to fully cover their hair in public and wear long, loose-fitting clothes.
Source » alarabiya