Tehran: Seventy-one Iranian women "improperly" dressed were prevented from boarding flights in recent months, an airport official said on Monday, as a police crackdown on the behaviour of young people intensified.
Iranian airports security chief Nabiollah Heidari told
ILNA news agency that "in the first 82 days of the current
Iranian year (which began on March 21), 71 women were barred
from boarding flights because they were improperly dressed."
"Their cases have been forwarded to the judiciary," he
Iranian women have to abide by an enforced Islamic dress
code, and summer crackdowns on what the authorities perceive
to be un-Islamic attire are common.
Women are often warned about wearing body-hugging short
coats and flimsy headscarves in defiance of the Islamic
republic`s sharia-based law, which stipulates modest dress.
Every post-pubescent woman in Iran is required to cover
her hair and bodily contours in public, but young women are
often seen with their hair only half covered by a scarf.
The punishment for women flouting the strict dress code
is a fine of up to 13 million rials (USD 1,300).
In recent weeks the dress code has been more strictly
enforced, with police confiscating cars whose drivers are
deemed to be harassing women, according to local media that
did not clarify what amounts to harassment.
The reports say the crackdown has become a major issue
for Iran`s youth, with police or hardline militiamen stopping
luxury cars to question boys and girls on board about their
Heidari also said that warnings were issued to 87,714
women during these 82 days for not covering their hair
properly, while 3,506 such women gave "commitments" that they
would follow the Islamic dress code.
Yesterday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he
"strongly" opposed the ongoing crackdown.
"It is impossible for such actions to be successful," he
said in an interview on state television.
"The government is not interfering in this. We consider it
is insulting to ask a boy and girl about their relationship.
Nobody has the right to ask people such a question."