Source: Bloomberg 10th June 2010
“Producing and distributing inappropriate clothes, those not complying with Islamic and Iranian culture, should be avoided,” Abbas Miraei, who heads the Office of Supervision of the Public Sphere for the Iranian police, was cited as saying today by Iranian Labour News Agency. Further details weren’t immediately available.
Iran has set aside $1.5 billion to promote “moral conduct,” including enforcement of its dress code for women, “to solve the cultural and social ills” in society, Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said on May 10. His comments followed the introduction of a code of conduct at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences that bans loud laughter, nail polish, high heels and immodest clothing for women and men.
Since the revolution that brought Shiite Muslim religious leaders to power three decades ago, women in Iran have been required to cover their hair with scarves and obscure the shape of the body with loose-fitting coats. The government, which sees the U.S. and its influence on culture as a threat to Iranian society, also seeks to prevent young women and men from following the West’s pop culture and fashion trends.
The police will “deal firmly” with violators of Iran’s laws on moral conduct, Mohammad-Najjar said last month. A cleric at Tehran’s main Friday prayers, Iran’s largest, said in April that women who dress immodestly cause earthquakes.
Iranian authorities increase their enforcement of the women’s dress code annually to prevent them from abandoning Islamic dress amid summer temperatures that can reach 42 degrees Celsius (107 Fahrenheit) in Tehran.
Under Shiraz University’s code, in effect since Feb. 20, women must wear loose, long coats in subdued colors that go below the knee. Men aren’t permitted to wear jewelry, except for a wedding ring, nor short-sleeve shirts, and their trousers should be loose. Shoes shouldn’t have pointed toes, make noise or have heels higher than 3 centimeters (1.2 inches).