Tehran, Iran, Aug. 20 â€“ The man designated by Iranâ€™s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as his Minister of Justice vowed on Saturday that â€œimproperly-veiled womenâ€ will be treated as if they had no Islamic veil at all.
Jamal Karimi-Rad told the local press, â€œBeing improperly veiled and not wearing a veil are no different. When it is clear from the appearance of a woman that she has violated the law, then the crime is obvious and law enforcement agents can take legal measures against herâ€.
â€œCrimes such as mal-veiling or other prohibited acts, which happen before the eyes of a law enforcement agent, are evident crimes and must be dealt with in accordance with the lawâ€, Karimi-Rad said.
Karimi-Rad also made it clear that members of the para-military Bassij and the notorious Ansar-e Hizbollah, government-organised gangs of hooligans, are regarded as law enforcement agents in clergy-ruled Iran.
Women have been facing a harsher crackdown since the June elections that led to Ahmadinejadâ€™s presidency.
In July, Iran deployed squads of women-only vice police to clamp down on â€œun-Islamicâ€ dress. The semi-official Jomhouri Islami recently reported that women have been arrested in Iran for â€œdisrespecting Islamic virtues and for having repulsive and immoral attireâ€.
With the arrival of a top commander of Iranâ€™s Revolutionary Guards as the countryâ€™s new police chief, a new summer-long crackdown on â€œsocial viceâ€ in Tehran was launched targeting young women.
State-run news agencies reported that â€œmal-veiled or unveiled individuals inside and outside of carsâ€ would be the target of arrests by Iranâ€™s State Security Forces, the paramilitary police force. The police would also embark on a systematic clampdown on â€œshops and public places where public chastity and Islamic values are ignoredâ€.