Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Iran cracks down on ‘un-Islamic’ dress, which includes necklaces worn by men

Summer is here, and in Iran that means a crackdown on improper, “un-Islamic” clothing.

Summer is here, and in Iran that means a crackdown on improper, “un-Islamic” clothing. This year, traffic police will be assuming some responsibility for enforcing the dress code and some of the rules are targeting men, prohibiting them from sporting certain hairstyles and wearing necklaces, the Guardian reported.

Iranian police said that beginning on Wednesday, June 15, a campaign to enforce the country’s strict dress code will be in effect, according to the Memri blog. Iran’s road and safety police have been given the power to fine Iranians who aren’t dressed according to the rules of Islam, according to BBC News. Traditionally that was the job of the so-called moral police, but now a traffic police officer can give Iranians two fines in one, a speeding fine and an un-Islamic-dress-code fine.

Enforcement of the dress code in Iran often puts women under particular pressure. This year, as thousands of special forces are being deployed in Tehran’s streets to participate in the regime’s “moral security plan,” men have been warned against glamorous hairstyles and wearing a necklace, while the more-familiar bans on loose-fitting headscarves, tight overcoats and shortened trousers that expose skin are in effect for women, the Guardian reported.

According to Eurasia Review, which cited Mehr News Agency, Ahmadreza Radan, the deputy commander of security forces, said:

Article continues after advertisement

“Tight clothing for men or women, head scarves that do not properly cover the hair, short and inappropriate outfits, and symbols of deviant movements and satanic groups will be targeted by the officials.”

Tehran’s police chief said that tourists weren’t exempt from the regulations, and travel agencies were responsible for informing clients about Islamic Republic laws.

The Irna state news agency said the moves were aimed at combating “the western cultural invasion,” the Guardian reported.

The new plan comes shortly after the Iranian parliament proposed a bill to criminalize dog ownership, on the grounds that it “poses a cultural problem, a blind imitation of the vulgar culture of the west.” According to the Guardian:

Under Islamic customs, dogs are deemed to be “unclean.” Iranians, in general, avoid keeping them at home, but still a minority, especially in north Tehran’s upper-class districts, enjoy keeping pets. Last year Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, a prominent hardline cleric, issued a fatwa against keeping dogs and said the trend must stop.