07312014Thu

Iran pays Russian women to cover up in nuclear plant: MP

TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran is paying Russian women working as technicians at its sole nuclear power plant to adhere to the Islamic dress code, an Iranian lawmaker told the ISNA news agency on Tuesday.

Women in Iran, regardless of their nationality or religion, are required to cover their hair and much of the body. Those who do not abide by the rule -- known as hijab -- may face arrest or other punishment.

"Based on contracts signed with female Russian employees at the Bushehr (nuclear) power plant, they receive a hijab payment," MP Mehdi Mousavinejad, who represents a constituency in southern Bushehr province, told ISNA.

"Unfortunately, they do not properly observe what is (asked of them), which is mentioned in the contracts," he said, while criticising authorities for a lax oversight on Russians working at the plant.

Mousavinejad also called on Russians to fulfil their "commitments".

"When one party accepts to pay an amount for a commitment, it is important for the other party to fulfil its commitments."

He did not how much money was paid, or how many female technicians are working at the Bushehr nuclear plant.

Russia took over as the main contractor at Bushehr in the mid-90s, but the plant is yet to be fully operational and connected to Iran's national grid.

A defining element of Iran since the Islamic revolution in 1979, the hijab has translated into women wearing long, loose clothing to conceal their figures.

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