Majid Mirahmadi, Iran’s deputy interior minister for security affairs

Iran Imposes Ramadan Crackdown Amid Nowruz Festivities

Thursday, 03/21/2024

Iran’s deputy interior minister for security affairs said Nowruz travelers eating in public will be punished as the new year coincides with the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

Citing Article 638 of the Islamic Penal Code, criminalizing eating in public during the holy month, Majid Mirahmadi stressed that restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and delicatessens are not allowed to provide services in the cities until the evening prayers call and the Iftar time.

“Some thought they could provide services indoors by covering up the glass and creating a veil; there is absolutely no such license,” Mirahmadi said.

The official further warned that the police will monitor “illegal activities” in these places and any “violation” will be dealt with.

According to the Islamic principles, those who travel more than 21.5 kilometers are not obligated to fast during Ramadan.

“There is no blame on travelers for not fasting … However, they must eat in secret. It is not possible for them to eat in parks and other public places. The sacredness of Ramadan must be respected,” Iran’s deputy interior minister for security affairs announced.

Annually, millions of Iranians travel during the New Year holidays. The coincidence of Nowruz and Ramadan this year and the government’s harsh measures to shut down restaurants before evening and punish eating in public can cause many problems for travelers, especially for children and the elderly.

Living for decades under the dictatorial Islamic government has prompted many Iranians, particularly the younger generations, to distance themselves from both the regime’s ideologies and the Islamic teachings and rituals.

In February, a study by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance revealed a significant decline in adherence to religious values, despite extensive ideological propaganda by the government in Iran.

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