On Saturday, Iran's police initiated a plan to compel unveiled women to adhere to the veil, resorting to violence against detainees and individuals from the public who attempted to intervene to prevent women's arrests.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has twice in the past ten days underlined that ignoring hijab is a redline that should not be crossed and urged the authorities to enforce related laws.

The police have introduced their hijab enforcement initiative, named the Nour (Light) Plan, aiming to enforce hijab laws nationwide in response to what they claim is a "national and public demand." Businesses face closure if they fail to ensure compliance with these regulations among their customers.

Reports from citizens and images circulated on social media suggest that "hijab patrol" vehicles and agents, previously withdrawn from the streets following the death of Mahsa (Jina) Amini while in the custody of the morality police in September 2022, have now resumed operations at full capacity. Amini's death, at the age of 22, sparked extensive protests that persisted for several months.

Since then, there has been a significant increase in the number of unveiled women, even in many traditionally conservative towns and cities.

Hijab police vans and agents on motorbikes at a Tehran square

Social media users have reported several cases of violent arrests including the detention of a teenage girl in Tehran by several male and female officers.

“She had clutched the street railings and was crying. A female officer punched her hand, and the male officer forcefully released her fingers. They dragged her to the [police] van. It was as if they had arrested ISIS [members], the scoundrels!” a citizen report on X Saturday said.

According to the author of the tweet, more than a dozen people who were also present at the scene pleaded with the police to let the girl go, a member of the public even offered the girl a headscarf to wear to convince the police not to arrest her, but the police threatened to use tear gas and arrest them if they persisted. “Eventually the pleadings turned into shouting and swearing.”

Another citizen report on X said the police kicked those who opposed the arrest of a young student on the metro.

Uniformed male officers and black-veiled female hijab enforcers patrolling a busy street in Tehran Saturday

Iranian media also reported the arrest, and eventual release, of the wife and daughter of legendary former goalkeeper of Iran's national soccer team, Ahmadreza Abedzadeh, for appearing unveiled in public in Tehran.

IRGC-linked Fars news agency claimed that the mother and daughter were detained for “causing tension and conflict” with hijab enforces and released later.

Some social media users on Saturday said sarcastically that the regime is taking revenge on Iranian women because it does not have the courage to exact its promised “hard revenge” against Israel.

“Hijab enforcers have poured into the streets and the subway, warning women, and trying to humiliate people on the metro and streets as if their enemy is us women. They are desperate and want to exact the hard revenge on us instead of Israel,” Samaneh Sami, a social scientist and journalist tweeted.

Others say the reason for taking action against women at this particular time is to divert attention from such controversial issues as the possibility of a strike against Israel for attacking the Iranian embassy in Damascus on April 1, the massive depreciation of the national currency and other economic problems, the recent land grab scandal of one of Tehran’s Friday imam, and Theran mayor’s plans to build mosques in parks.

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