TEHRAN, Apr 13 — Police in Iran announced a new crackdown today on women who ignore the country’s strict Islamic dress code that makes it compulsory for them to wear headscarves in public.

“From today the police in Tehran, as in other provinces, will implement their measures against this sort of violation of the law regarding hijab,” the capital’s police chief AbbasAli Mohammadian said on live television.

Local media reported that police in the city had launched a campaign codenamed “Noor”, the Persian word for light, in their efforts to double down on those who break the hijab dress code.

The authorities made it mandatory for women to obey the Islamic dress code shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled Iran’s shah.


The dress code, known as hijab, makes it mandatory for women to cover their hair and bodies in public places.

“People who did not pay attention to previous police warnings will be specially warned in the city from today and legal action will be taken against them,” Mohammadian said today.

The crackdown comes just days after supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a speech reiterated that women in the Islamic republic must obey the dress code, regardless of their beliefs.


“The hijab issue, which has now become an imposed challenge, did not exist before,” he said, and blamed “the intervention of foreigners”.

Iran’s morality police had kept a low profile since protests erupted following the September 2022 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurd who died three days after they arrested her for allegedly violating the dress code in Tehran.

The morality police were never formally abolished by the authorities.

Amini’s death triggered months-long demonstrations which the authorities labelled as “riots” fomented by foreign governments.

Today, Iranian media including Ham Mihan daily posted “images of the presence of patrol vans” from the morality police in central Tehran’s Valiasr Square.

There have been reports in the media over recent months that police have seized vehicles transporting women without veils and punished their owners.

In an effort to tackle those breaking hijab laws, the authorities have also shut cafes and restaurants where the wearing of the hijab was not respected.

After Amini’s death, more and more women across the country began appearing in public without adhering to the dress code. — AFP