By Pooya Stone

Women in Iran will no longer be allowed to travel by plane if they are “improperly veiled”, according to an announcement by Hassan Mehri, commander of Iran’s Airport Police, who said that these new instructions will soon be implemented.

According to a transcript by the state-run ISNA news agency on July 1, he said: “We have received official instructions on dealing with women who remove their veil and Judiciary officials will also support the police in this regard. Police officers will certainly deal with cases where people promote western styles by what they wear. It is possible that we prevent the person from travelling. We will file legal cases against these people and hand them over to judiciary officials.”

This new implementation of the regime’s discriminatory forced hijab law follows on from officials’ previous comments about the need to preserve “modesty” and prevent “vice” through enforcing the mandatory veil in stricter ways.

The state-run ISNA news agency reported on June 24 that officials have announced plans to station patrols in recreational areas to harshly monitor women’s observance of the compulsory veil and give out verbal warnings.

The state-run ROKNA news agency reported on June 4 that Mohammad Abdollah-pour, Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, had announced the formation of 2,000 anti-vice teams in Gilan Province in northern Iran, who would give verbal and practical warnings to improperly veiled women.

He said: “The issue of chastity and veiling are not an ordinary issue, but an issue of political significance and security for the country.”

He said that since the beginning of this Iranian year, which began on March 20, 2019, his force had dealt with 28,238 so-called ‘improperly-veiled’ women in Gilan and filed cases against 64 of them.

The state-run ROKNA news agency had previously reported, on June 1, that Tehran Police Chief Hossein Rahimi had emphasised the need for women to obey the forced hijab laws.

He said, “Removing the veil and improper veiling are considered among obvious social crimes.”

On a related note, last month a video circulated on social media showing a young woman, thought to be 15 or 16, being violently arrested by a plainclothes agent of the State Security Force. This clip, uploaded on June 22, sparked nationwide anger, especially after it was revealed that her only “crime” was playing with water guns in the park with her friends on a hot summer’s day.