Islamic Republic’s prosecutor-general says Iranian women unveiling in public is an act “planned and promoted by enemies,” and described it as a “crime.” 

In a press conference on Sunday, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said one of the “enemies’ plots” in the past few months was breaking the norms and redlines of the Islamic regime. He went on to threaten that people who unveil will be strictly confronted. 

Emphasizing that observing hijab – or Islamic dress code – is legally mandatory, he said, "When the law mandates the observance of hijab for women in public places within the borders of the Islamic Republic, we cannot say that [the issue] is personal."

The law’s Montazeri referred to are what more than 50 percent of the people in Iran oppose, but they have no peaceful way of trying to change them, because the regime considers any such attempt a violation of the fundamental precepts of the clerical rule.

The attorney-general added that he believes the way to deal with those who remove the compulsory hijab "needs planning" and "cultural work” before resorting to legal action. 

Islamic Republic’s prosecutor-general Mohammad Jafar Montazeri during a press conference on December 25, 2022

He repeated the regime’s propaganda line that describes the current wave of antigovernment protests sparked by death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini as a ploy by the West. The United States, United Kingdom, Israel and Saudi Arabia are called “enemies” in the discourse of the clerical regime.

Mahsa Amini was arrested by a patrol van enforcing hijab on streets and suffered a head trauma during her arrest and died in hospital a few days later, triggering the boldest challenge the regime has faced in its over 40 years of existence. 

Montazeri also claimed that the final results of the investigation regarding the case of Mahsa Amini's death have not yet been given to her family. 

His remarks came as he had earlier pretended it had abolished the the so-called ‘morality police,’. However, his Sunday remarks showed that the whole volte face was only a sham to control the nationwide unrest.

Many activists, such as US-based Masih Alinejad, debunked Montazeri’s claim as a sheer publicity stunt or even misinformation spread by a dictatorial regime that is about to fall. 

Following the propaganda stunt about disbanding the ‘morality police’, foreign and Iranian media are full of interpretations of how the regime plans to both enforce the dress code regulations and at the same time appease protesters.

Western governments, including the UK, the US, and Canada, added the hijab law enforcement unit to their list of sanctioned entities. Despite the regime killing about 500 protesters and hanging two, Iran’s police chief threatened the people earlier in December with more "decisive" response in the coming days.

Many women in Iran are now appearing in public without the mandatory veil and regular police are not interfering in a sign that authorities are either unwilling to risk further confrontation with the public or find it impossible to deal with so many women undermining the rule all at the same time. Police forces have also become over-stretched during protests and many have resigned or have applied for early retirement.

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